Ohio Lottery Winners Face Challenges Post Cybersecurity Incident

The incident, which occurred on December 24, 2023, allowed hackers, later identified as the ransomware group DragonForce, to infiltrate Ohio Lottery systems

Ohio Lottery

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In the aftermath of a cybersecurity breach on Christmas Eve, the Ohio Lottery is grappling with the fallout as winners find themselves unable to cash prizes exceeding $599 at casinos, racinos, and designated Super Retailers. 

Ohio Lottery Investigates Breach Impact on Player Information

Despite the breach, Ohio Lottery officials assured the public that gaming machines and technology were unaffected. The Lottery has launched an investigation to ascertain the extent of the breach and the specific data compromised. 

DragonForce claims to have seized over 600 gigabytes of data, including personal information such as names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and details of winnings. The group has threatened to release the stolen data publicly.

Edward Riley, an 85-year-old Ohio Lottery player, shared his frustration with the ongoing incident as reported by The Akron Beacon Journal. After winning $1,000 on a scratch-off ticket, he discovered he could only claim his prize through the Ohio Lottery smartphone app or by mailing the ticket to the Ohio Lottery Central Office in Cleveland. 

Riley, not tech-savvy, opted for the mobile app, spending four hours figuring it out, only to learn he must wait an additional 10 days for his winnings due to the app’s processing protocols.

Riley emphasized that individuals participating in the lottery should be informed about the ongoing situation, expressing concern that lottery sellers are not sufficiently providing players with information about the cybersecurity incident.

Ohio Lottery Reassures Public Amid Cybersecurity Fallout

The Ohio Lottery urges consumers to be vigilant against identity theft and fraud, advising them to monitor account statements for any irregular activity. Measures recommended include placing fraud alerts or security freezes on credit files through Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit agencies.

While the investigation is ongoing, the Ohio Lottery commits to notifying affected individuals promptly and in compliance with applicable laws. The state emphasizes its dedication to providing credit monitoring services to protect Ohioans in case consumer data is compromised.

As the cybersecurity fallout unfolds, concerns rise about the potential misuse of personal information. The Ohio Lottery reassures the public that, as of now, there is no evidence of misuse or public release of information connected to the incident. Winning numbers for most games can still be checked through the Ohio Lottery website and mobile application.

Meanwhile, winners await the resolution of the payout issue, with uncertainty lingering about when casinos and authorized facilities will resume cashing prizes exceeding $599. Despite the inconvenience, the Ohio Lottery has emphasized the safety of playing lottery games, assuring that its machines and technology were not impacted by the cybersecurity incident.

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