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HomeNewsLocal newsVirgin Islands Lottery Back in Business After Cybersecurity Breach

Virgin Islands Lottery Back in Business After Cybersecurity Breach

The Virgin Islands Lottery will resume operations on Wednesday, a week after a cybersecurity breach led to its temporary closure.

“We have been working to restore our systems to full operation and now we’re happy to notify our dealers and customers that we will open for business at 8 a.m. tomorrow,” Executive Director Raymond J. Williams said Tuesday.

The breach of the V.I. Lottery’s information technology infrastructure on Jan. 17 led to multiple failures within its system, preventing the agency’s ability to generate tickets and conduct sales and forcing it to cancel the Jan. 18 drawing and any going forward until the matter was resolved.

On Friday, Williams said the V.I. Lottery was working with federal agencies to investigate the breach but declined to say exactly which entities are involved. The aim of the breach was unclear, but he said no money was accessed in the attack.

“We don’t have a specific idea. I guess it’s similar to all the different problems you see all over the place,” he said. Breaches in recent years have included the Port AuthorityBudget Office, and Water and Power Authority. Even the Central Intelligence Agency is not immune, reporting a hack in 2017 that was an internal job involving malware tools.

Williams said the breach involved “our data that was pretty much encrypted” and that the perpetrator would not have been able to access lottery information. “Our drawing is a stand-alone operation. It’s not connected to any type of system. There’s zero connectivity,” he said.

As for who might have carried out the attack, “We’re working with the federal government in looking at that specifically. We are definitely following all the different channels,” said Williams.

Ticket sales for draw No. 1025 — which was scheduled for Jan. 18 — will continue until Thursday and the drawing will occur on Friday, the press release stated.

Tickets for draw No. 1026 will also be available for purchase on Friday, it said. The drawing date for 1026 is slated for Thursday, Feb. 15.

Williams thanked the community for its support. “We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate and migrate back to a normal course of operations,” he said Tuesday.

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