Millions lost in Federal Group ransomware attack

Millions lost in Federal Group ransomware attack

Federal Group has announced that the ransomware attack on its pokie machines and hotel bookings system cost the group millions of dollars.

Australia.- Federal Group has revealed that the ransomware attack the company suffered last April cost it millions of dollars. The cyberattack affected its pokies machines and hotel booking system for more than a week and forced the casino operator to close Wrest Point and Country Club casinos.

However, the directors chose not to pay the demanded ransom, leading the company to incur significant remediation costs.

Sharing the group’s annual financial statement for the 2020/21 financial year, executive general manager Daniel Hanna said: “Federal Group has not quantified the cost of the cyber-attack (which included external specialists, internal resources and foregone revenues) but estimates it would be several million.”

The company reported its gaming operations, bars, hotels and cargo services had combined revenue of $547m and profit after tax of $42m, up from $6m the previous year. Federal Group paid more than $59m in gaming taxes and licensing fees, and distributed $10m in dividends to its owners, the Farrell family.

The report noted that cash flow is likely to decline next year as the federal group’s monopoly on gaming licenses in the state will end.

As Focus Gaming News previously reported, proposed amendments to Tasmanian gambling legislation look set to become law, spelling the end for Federal Group casino’s exclusive licence agreement. The proposed changes include the introduction of individual operating licences for electronic gaming machines hosted in brick-and-mortar venues and new tax rates on gaming revenue in the state.

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