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SportCaller in position for enhanced engagement with Off The Ball

George Miller

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SportCaller in position for enhanced engagement with Off The Ball
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Popular Irish sports broadcaster enlists FTP specialist for a fun series of rapid-fire “live” quizzes to improve the viewer experience

SportCaller, the leading free-to-play (FTP) sports-game provider, has joined forces with Off The Ball, Ireland’s popular sports news and analysis show, to drive audience engagement during the current sporting shutdown with a series of entertaining “live broadcast” quizzes.

The deal is the first of its kind with a multi-platform sports media company, demonstrating SportCaller’s growing reach outside its typical sports betting arena, connecting with more mainstream audiences and responsibly introducing them to the value and highly social nature of free-to-play products.

These rapid-fire tests of trivia track a topical schedule of flagship events that would traditionally capture players’ interests and imaginations around this time of year, while also incorporating a steady diet of general knowledge questions around all major sports.

SportCaller’s live-quiz configurations run off a last-man-standing mechanic, whereby players must submit each answer before a clock-count winds down, with correct answers progressing to the next question. Ultimately, a €1,000 prize is either won or shared between any participant(s) who can post a perfect score across the entire quiz.

This seasonal series showcases SportCaller’s flexibility and capacity to deliver softer marketing functions with which to responsibly maintain customer engagement and digital dwell-time. While these fresh formats have been naturally adapted to the present pandemic, their manifest utility for broader retention has also carved out a long-term future as part of a progressive product set and marketing strategy for both media partners and operators.

These quizzes are fronted by a rota of familiar personalities from Off The Ball, whose main host Ger Gilroy is regularly joined by household names including Brian O’Driscoll and Kevin Kilbane. The show is sponsored by Paddy Power, who first launched SportCaller’s signature Beat The Drop game to universal acclaim back at the 2018 World Cup. The free-to-play specialist has since gone on to bolster this strong relationship at group level for Flutter Entertainment, whose mega-merger with The Stars Group was completed at the beginning of May.

Cillian Barry, MD at SportCaller, said: “We’re thrilled to be breaking new ground with Off The Ball via these new Live Broadcast quizzes, showing that now is the time to be pushing fresh concepts and products for our increasingly diverse range of clients. They say that personality goes a long way and OTB has it in spades. As a result, the SportCaller platform is another conduit by which OTB can express the content of that character to a loyal, sports-mad audience looking for some light relief.

“Clearly, you’re never going to replicate the same levels of engagement until all live sports can reliably find a way back. However, we can still offer fun, thematic content with these simple FTP games which build brand loyalty and an audience which returns to watch, listen and play. I believe this represents another key proving ground outside our original sportsbook domain, with these quizzes helping to fashion a wider and improved marketing mix.”

Ger Gilroy, Managing Director of Off The Ball, added: “It’s imperative that we keep our viewers and listeners entertained across our live radio and podcast channels, despite many of their favourite major sports still being unavailable. Happily, SportCaller’s innovative quizzes are allowing us to open up another outlet of competitive fun and social enjoyment for our enthusiastic audience.

“Their games fit neatly into our programming schedule and check all the boxes for responsible engagement. We’re always looking for new experiences to better connect our viewers to the sports they love, and SportCaller’s creative-content ideation and swift tech integration set them apart.”

Industry News

GVC Adds Senior Gaming Executives David Satz and Robert Hoskin to its Board

Niji Narayan

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GVC Adds Senior Gaming Executives David Satz and Robert Hoskin to its Board
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GVC Holdings PLC has announced the appointment of David Satz and Robert Hoskin to its Board of Directors.

David Satz has joined as an Independent Non-Executive Director on 22 October 2020, and Robert Hoskin will be promoted to the Board as an Executive Director on 1 January 2021 in the role of Chief Governance Officer.

David Satz most recently served as the Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Development for Caesars Entertainment Corporation in Las Vegas, where he worked from 2002 to 2019.

Robert Hoskin has been at GVC since 2005 and will take up the role of Chief Governance Officer, overseeing GVC’s legal, regulatory, governance and social responsibility affairs. He is currently Group Director of Legal, Regulatory and Secretariat.

“I am delighted to be welcoming two such high calibre individuals to our Board. David has unrivalled regulatory and legislative expertise in the all-important US gaming market. His knowledge and insight will be hugely additive in helping us to achieve our ambition of being the leading operator in the US through BetMGM, our fast-growing joint venture with MGM Resorts,” Barry Gibson, Chairman of GVC, said.

“Robert has made an outstanding contribution to GVC in his 15 years at the Group, and his promotion is richly deserved. The fact that regulation, legal and governance are now represented at Board level will give us even greater oversight of these critically important areas, all of which are central to our long-term growth plans,” Barry Gibson added.

“I have long been an admirer of GVC’s diversified business model, industry-leading brands, and unique proprietary technology platform. I look forward to working closely with the Board and the executive management team in order to help support GVC’s impressive growth trajectory, especially in light of the unprecedented opportunity presented by its strong position in the nascent US sports betting market,” David Satz said.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to have witnessed GVC’s extraordinary growth story from an AIM-listed company to the successful and international FTSE 100 business that it is today. I am honoured to be joining what is an outstandingly strong Board and am delighted that the importance of Governance is being recognised in this way,” Robert Hoskin said.

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Industry News

AC Milan Extends its Partnership with StarCasinò.sport

Niji Narayan

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AC Milan Extends its Partnership with StarCasinò.sport
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AC Milan football club has extended its partnership with StarCasinò.sport. The sports entertainment platform, part of the Betsson Group, will continue to be an AC Milan Official Partner for the next three years, until the end of the 2023 season.

“The aim of Betsson Group is to create engaging, amazing and safe experiences for all users and, through our brand StarCasinò.sport, we propose an innovative and exciting storytelling of sports. The renewal of the partnership with AC Milan, a top-class Club, is very important for us in terms of broadening our image and it allows us to create high-quality entertainment for the Rossoneri fans as well as for all football fans,” Ronni Hartvig, Chief Commercial Officer of Betsson Group, said.

“We are delighted to announce the renewal of our partnership with StarCasinò.sport. In recent months we jointly created exciting and innovative special content dedicated to our fans and we are both very pleased with the results we have achieved. We want to keep surprising AC Milan’s fans and we are ready to engage them in many new Rossonero initiatives,” Casper Stylsvig, Chief Revenue Officer at AC Milan, said.

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MMO game Street Mobster leaking data of 1.9 million users due to critical vulnerability

George Miller

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MMO game Street Mobster leaking data of 1.9 million users due to critical vulnerability
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Attackers could exploit the SQL Injection flaw to compromise the game’s database and steal user data.

The CyberNews.com Investigation team discovered a critical vulnerability in Street Mobster, a browser-based massively multiplayer online game created by Bulgarian development company BigMage Studios.

Street Mobster is a free to play, browser-based online game in the mafia empire genre where players manage a fictional criminal enterprise. The game boasts a 1.9+ million player base and stores a user record database that can be accessed by threat actors by committing an SQL Injection (SQLi) attack on the game’s website.

Other games created by BigMage Studios are also potentially vulnerable to the same type of attack, which means that there is a possibility that even more users might be at risk.

The records that can be compromised by exploiting the SQLi vulnerability in Street Mobster potentially include the players’ usernames, email addresses, and passwords, as well as other game-related data that is stored on the database.

Fortunately, after we reported the vulnerability to BigMage Studios, CERT Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian data protection authority, the issue has been fixed by the developers and the user database is no longer accessible to potential attackers.

What is SQL Injection?

First found back in 1998, SQLi is deemed by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) as the number one web application security risk.

Even though this vulnerability is relatively easy to fix, researchers found that 8% of websites and web applications are still vulnerable to SQLi attacks in 2020. Which, from a security perspective, is inexcusable. So much so, in fact, that UK internet service provider TalkTalk was hit with a record £400,000 fine over succumbing to a cyberattack that involved SQLi.

The vulnerability works by injecting an unexpected payload (a piece of code) into the input box on the website or in its URL address. Instead of reading the text as part of the URL, the website’s server reads the attacker’s payload as code and then proceeds to execute the attacker’s command or output data that would otherwise be inaccessible to unauthorized parties. Attackers can exploit SQLi even further by uploading pieces of code or even malware to the vulnerable server.

The fact that Street Mobster is susceptible to SQLi attacks clearly shows the disappointing and dangerous neglect of basic security practices on the part of the developers at BigMage Studios.

 

How we found this vulnerability

Our security team identified an SQL Injection vulnerability on the Street Mobster website and were able to confirm the vulnerability by performing a simple command injection test on the website URL. The CyberNews team did not extract any data from the vulnerable Street Mobster database.

What’s the impact of the vulnerability?

The data in the vulnerable Street Mobster database can be used in a variety of ways against the players whose information was exposed:

By injecting malicious payloads on Street Mobster’s server, attackers can potentially gain access to said server, where they can install malware on the game’s website and cause harm to the visitors – from using the players’ devices to mine cryptocurrency to redirecting them to other malicious websites, installing malware, and more.

The 1.9 million user credentials stored on the database can net the attackers user email addresses and passwords, which they can potentially use for credential stuffing attacks to hack the players’ accounts on other gaming platforms like Steam or other online services.

Because Street Mobster is a free-to-play game that incorporates microtransactions, bad actors could also make a lot of money from selling hacked player accounts on gray market websites.

What to do if you’ve been affected?

If you have a Street Mobster account, make sure to change your password immediately and make it as complex as possible. If you’ve been using your Street Mobster password on any other websites or services, change that password as well. This will prevent potential attackers from accessing your accounts on these websites in case they try to reuse your password for credential stuffing attacks.

However, it’s ultimately up to BigMage Studios to completely secure your Street Mobster account against attacks like SQLi.

Disclosure and lack of communication from BigMage Studios

Following our vulnerability disclosure guidelines, we notified the BigMage Studios about the leak on August 31, 2020. However, we received no reply. Our follow-up emails were left unanswered as well.

We then reached out to CERT Bulgaria on September 11 in order to help secure the website. CERT contacted the BigMage Studios and informed the company about the misconfiguration.

Throughout the disclosure process, BigMage Studios stayed radio silent and refused to get in touch with CyberNews.com. Due to this reason, we also notified the Bulgarian data protection agency about the incident on October 9 in the hopes that the agency would be able to pressure the company into fixing the issue.

Eventually, however, BigMage Studios appear to have fixed the SLQi vulnerability on streetmobster.com, without informing either CyberNews.com or CERT Bulgaria about that fact.

 

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