The Ohio Lottery is currently facing the repercussions of a cybersecurity breach that occurred on Christmas Eve, leaving winners unable to cash prizes over $599 at various gaming establishments. Despite this setback, Ohio Lottery officials have assured the public that gaming machines and technology were not affected by the breach and have launched an investigation to determine the extent of the breach and the specific data that was compromised.
Allegedly, a group known as DragonForce claims to have seized over 600 gigabytes of data, including personal information such as names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and details of winnings, and has threatened to release this stolen data publicly. This has caused frustration among Ohio Lottery players, including 85-year-old Edward Riley, who won $1,000 on a scratch-off ticket but faced difficulties claiming his prize due to the breach. Riley, who is not tech-savvy, struggled to use the Ohio Lottery smartphone app to claim his prize, ultimately having to wait an additional 10 days for his winnings to be processed.
The Ohio Lottery is urging consumers to be vigilant against identity theft and fraud and has recommended measures to protect against such risks, such as monitoring account statements for irregular activity and placing fraud alerts or security freezes on credit files through credit agencies. The Lottery also commits to promptly notifying affected individuals and providing credit monitoring services in compliance with applicable laws.
While concerns about the potential misuse of personal information persist, the Ohio Lottery has reassured the public that there is currently no evidence of such misuse or public release of information connected to the incident. Additionally, the Lottery has emphasized the safety of playing lottery games, assuring that its machines and technology were not impacted by the cybersecurity breach.
As the investigation into the breach continues, winners are left waiting for the resolution of the payout issue, unsure of when casinos and authorized facilities will resume cashing prizes exceeding $599. Despite these uncertainties, the Ohio Lottery continues to provide information and reassurance to the public while working to address the aftermath of the breach.