It started with a war of words and then it ended up with a cyber attack on the scale that Las Vegas Sands technical security employees said they had “never seen before, ” as reported by Bloomberg.
Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson is known for his hawkish take on the Israeli political situation. He is buddies with Prime Minister Netanyahu, he funds a right-of-center paper distributed free throughout Israel and he has made no bones about the fact that he feels ready to take on Iran. Although the 81 year old needs to be helped on stage when he gives a talk, his words are as fiery as his fading red hair.
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At Yeshivah University’s panel discussion entitled, “Will Jews Exist?, ” Adelson said aggressively, as if there were actually Iranian Muslims in the audience, “What are we going to negotiate about, ” and after making references to nuclear bombs, he said, “You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position.” Even at Yeshivah University, these tough remarks were greeted with only faint applause. As if it were a reaction to Adelson’s comments, Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni said America, “Should slap these prating people in the mouth and crush their mouths.”
Well, one way of crushing people’s mouths is to get into their data systems. Which is exactly what happened weeks later at Las Vegas Sands. Computers weren’t working, even phones were down, and within an hour, hundreds of IT people determined it was a cyberattack. the IT workers were reduced to pulling cords out of computers to forestall the hacking.
This wasn’t an attack to get financial information, but Las Vegas IT workers, as reported by Bloomberg, felt certain it was a direct retaliation from Iran for the activities and comments by CEO Sheldon Adelson. The most amazing thing was that the company managed to keep it under wraps for 10 months.