Sands Websites HACKED – Hotel Offline since Tuesday

In a cautionary tale of global proportions, websites of Las Vegas – based Sands Corp. have been inaccessible for five days.  Wedding and event customers, hotel guests, management staff, employees…. everyone has been shut out by closure of its nine websites by hackers.

The welcome page for Sands Corp. looks like this (as of 2/15/14):

sands-hacked-grid

An Associated Press report, on the ABC News site begins as follows…

AP_logo_update_20130709“Websites for casino giant Las Vegas Sands Corp. remained down for a fourth day on Friday, while company, state and federal investigators trace the origin and effect of a hacking intrusion.

The Internet sites of Sands properties including the flagship Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and its Pennsylvania, Singapore and Macau resorts remained inoperative, and company spokesperson Ron Reese said officials were assessing which systems had been affected.

Sands took down websites for its properties on Tuesday morning, leaving a website-maintenance message and a checkerboard photo display of resort names and phone numbers for bookings and reservations. READ MORE

Hacking is not “routine maintenance.”

In fact, the occurrence was a ‘break-in, with vandalism’. The full extent of damage and motives for the hacking are not fully clear. And, it is not simply a matter of restoring the sites from a back=up. The security of the site(s) is at issue. It is necessary to determine how the systems were compromised, design a more robust defense, before repair and restoration occur. It’s difficult to project how long the sites will remain inaccessible.

Small Business Perspective

Your website or mine is more likely to be the target of a prank. Any website that utilizes e-commerce is a potential target for hacking. In the days ahead, I plan to publish a few posts about the safety of your site and its information.

These days, almost all inbound inquiries utilize your website. If your website is offline for any significant length of time, your inbound marketing stops, along with your sales.  None of us can afford to be in that situation.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon 
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Sands Websites HACKED – Hotel Offline since Tuesday

  1. Thank you for highlighting such an important issue, Andy! So many wedding professionals neglect security and backups when it comes to their website…

    It may not be as sexy as the design and marketing of your site, but it is a critical component and regularly overlooked.

    I’m still stunned at how many websites I come across that use “admin” as their WordPress login and simple, easy to crack passwords… two things that are dead easy to fix!