Why Didn’t the Government Make a Bigger Deal about Iranians Hacking Sheldon Adelson?

As I keep explaining to gobsmacked security experts, according to the DHS, not only are motion picture studios like Sony considered Critical Infrastructure the security establishment must protect, but so are casinos (and campgrounds!) as part of the “Commercial Facilities Sector.”

The Commercial Facilities Sector consists of eight subsectors:

  • Public Assembly (e.g., arenas, stadiums, aquariums, zoos, museums, convention centers).
  • Sports Leagues (e.g., professional sports leagues and federations).
  • Gaming (e.g., casinos).
  • Lodging (e.g., hotels, motels, conference centers).
  • Outdoor Events (e.g., theme and amusement parks, fairs, campgrounds, parades).
  • Entertainment and Media (e.g., motion picture studios, broadcast media).
  • Real Estate (e.g., office and apartment buildings, condominiums, mixed use facilities, self-storage).
  • Retail (e.g., retail centers and districts, shopping malls).

Which is why I find it interesting that along with noting that hackers might start altering — rather than just zeroing out — the entries in software, in his Global Threats testimony James Clapper asserted that “Iranian actors have been implicated” in hacking Sheldon Adelson’s casino.

Iran very likely values its cyber program as one of many tools for carrying out asymmetric but proportional retaliation against political foes, as well as a sophisticated means of collecting intelligence. Iranian actors have been implicated in the 2012-13 DDOS attacks against US financial institutions and in the February 2014 cyber attack on the Las Vegas Sands casino company.

A number of outlets reported that Iran, rather than Iranian actors, did the hack.

Bloomberg reported that Iranians were behind the hack in December.

I can think of a number of reasons why the US didn’t make a bigger deal out of Iranians hacking our critical infrastructure Sheldon Adelson’s casinos. Because they couldn’t prove the tie between the actors and the Iranian state, because fighting to protect Adelson’s corruption is less palatable than fighting to protect Hollywood, because it would have focused on Adelson’s threats to bomb Iran, and because they’re trying to craft a peace deal.

And that’s probably just a start.

Still, I’m surprised others — such as Bibi Netanyahu — haven’t made a bigger issue out of Iranian actors’ successful attack on one of the people funding the anti-Iranian lobby.

5 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    “Still, I’m surprised others — such as Bibi Netanyahu — haven’t made a bigger issue out of Iranian actors’ successful attack on one of the people [Sheldon Adelson] funding the anti-Iranian lobby.” Is that legal — having a casino with an “anti-Iranian lobby”? I mean, isn’t it discrimination or something to make you pass through that just to get to the craps tables? I’ll tell ya though, if that’s kosher, that opens up all kinds of possibilities. The native Americans could build casinos with anti-American lobbies. Trump could build one with an anti-intelligence lobby (the IQ kind, not the IC kind). Adelson could put an anti-Communist lobby in the right wing of his Macau outpost (query as to how long that would last). The Seminoles could have one with an anti-obesity lobby, including a crocodile-filled moat you need to skedaddle over. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb1c1aMcFAo) And as for Bibi, he oughta change the law in Israel to allow casinos there – the perfect venue for an anti-Iranian lobby.
    Just sayin’.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Instead of protecting Mr. Adelson’s fortune – he seems to have enough resources to do that for himself – some inspector general might inquire into the flow of funds through his and other casinos. Historically, not every bent dime wagered in Vegas has always been accounted for. An IG might even inquire, heaven forfend, into the operations of multi-state lotteries. The split of total receipts into winner payouts, remittances to the states and to the now legal lottery operator(s) would probably be revealing.

  3. galljdaj says:

    Did you fail on purpose to include the US AND ISRAELI ATTACKS on Iran as Moral justificatins?

  4. galljdaj says:

    I was young enough to believe all the morality saying coming from Our Leaders during and after WWll. Following the Nuremberg when Eisenhower sent forces into Iran and destroyed the People’s Revolt, for Oil the we wanted for Our Military Establishment, I was pissed and still am at the LYING of Our Govt that has only the Right under Our Constitution, to tell the People, The Truth!

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