AP News

Sands: Some customer data stolen by hackers


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Computer hackers stole the personal information of tens of thousands of Las Vegas Sands customers during a data breach earlier this month, the casino company said Friday.

The company said in a regulatory filing that information about some patrons at its Bethlehem, Pa., hotel-casino was compromised during the Feb. 10 attack. Spokesman Ron Reese said the number of customers affected was in the mid-five figure range, as far as the company could tell so far.

Examples of the kinds of legally protected data that were stolen include Social Security and driver's license numbers. An informational website Sands has set up warns that credit card information and bank account information may also have been stolen. The company is providing credit monitoring and identity theft protection to customers affected by the hacking.

Reese didn't say whether credit card information was taken.

A mailing database similar to something a direct marketing firm would use was also stolen.

Sands said it was still working to determine whether customer information from other properties was breached, a process made more time-consuming by the destruction the hackers wrought. The company runs the Italian-themed Venetian and Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip, and several hotel-casinos in China and Singapore.

In its statement, Sands noted that the number of patron accounts that were compromised make up fewer than 1 percent of all visitors to the Bethlehem casino since its 2009 opening. It has set up a toll-free phone number for concerned customers.

The Las Vegas-based company pulled down its corporate and individual hotel websites Feb. 11 after hackers defaced them with images condemning comments Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson had made about using nuclear weapons on Iran. The hackers also posted Social Security numbers for Sands' Bethlehem employees.

It took the company nearly a week to get the sites back up. The hacking also knocked down internal systems, and left corporate employees without access to their computers and email accounts for days.

Last week, an anonymous video surfaced that appeared to catalog additional information stolen during the hacking, including administrator passwords for slot machine systems and player information at the Bethlehem casino.

The FBI and Secret Service have been investigating the cyberattack.

Sands, which is the world's largest casino company in terms of revenue and market value, also owns the world's largest casino in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau. The company's net income was $2.31 billion last year.

In an annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Sands said the attack may have destroyed some company data. The filing said Sands was unable to estimate the loss that might result from the hacking, if any.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands Corp. rose 12 cents to close at $85.25 Friday before the announcement, then fell 24 cents in after-hours trading.

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Customers concerned about the data breach can call Sands' information line at 866-579-2213 or visit http://www.sandsinfo.com .

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Hannah Dreier can be reached at http://twitter.com/hannahdreier .


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