Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson speaks at the Global Gaming Expo, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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“Hundreds of people were calling IT to tell them their computers weren’t working."
The devastating cyberattack on billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands earlier this year was perpetrated by Iranian hackers, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Adelson, a heavy contributor to Republican and Jewish causes, immediately suspected who was behind the attack — which came shortly after Adelson had suggested bombing the Iranian desert as a warning about its nuclear development — but it was kept under wraps until now.
On Feb. 10, computers throughout the casino stopped working, email was down, phones were offline and many hard drives were wiped clean. The situation was quickly spiraling into chaos.
“Hundreds of people were calling IT to tell them their computers weren’t working,” James Pfeiffer, who worked in the casino's risk-management department at the time, told Bloomberg.
About an hour later, technical experts noticed something unusual about this cyberattack: unlike other companies that had previously been hacked, it didn't appear as though these intruders wanted cash or credit card card information.
The attack on the casino's systems seemed personal, but who would launch a personal cyberattack on such a large scale and why would they do it? According to Bloomberg, Adelson suspected almost right away that it wasn't a single person or group behind this attack. It was a country — Iran.
Just a few months earlier, Adelson spoke at Yeshiva University’s Manhattan campus and discussed Iran and its suspected nuclear weapons program.
A worker rides a bicycle in front of the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran, October 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Mehr News Agency, Majid Asgaripour, File)
Regarding the Obama administration's unsuccessful negotiations, Adelson questioned what exactly the U.S. was trying to achieve. Instead, Adelson said: “What I would say is, ‘Listen. You see that desert out there? I want to show you something."
Adelson said the U.S. should detonate a bomb in the middle of the Iranian desert for the purpose of sending an important warning: that unless the Iranians destroy their nuclear weapon capabilities, America's next target would be Tehran.
“You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position,” he said.
Adelson, whose net worth is $27.4 billion, is a staunch critic of President Barack Obama's. In 2012, he donated $100 million to defeat Obama in his reelection bid and elect more Republicans to Congress.
The revelation that Iran might have played a role in the February cybersecurity attack against Sands supports the recent findings of U.S. security firm Cyclance, which suggested the Iranian government has been behind a global cyberattack campaign that has targeted businesses in countries including the United States, China, England, France, Canada, Germany, India and Israel.
Las Vegas Sands did not immediately return TheBlaze's request for a comment Friday.
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