Insider allegedly hacked lottery software in multiple states
If you use insider knowledge for your own gain, it could land you in hot water… especially if you hacked the computers at your job to get the information you need. At least that’s what Eddie Tipton, Multi-State Lottery Association’s former security director, is being accused of. Tipton allegedly used a rootkit — a malicious software that activates when a computer boots up — to know a drawing’s winning numbers in advance. He’d then ask an accomplice to buy the winning ticket and to collect the money afterward.
He was already convicted of fraud for tampering the lottery in Iowa, but he allegedly tinkered with more drawings in four states within the course of six years. Authorities believe he may be involved in even more instances of fraud, though. So, they’re now investigating winners in 37 other states that have been using the Multi-State Lottery Association’s computers to draw winning numbers since Tipton joined the organization in 2003.
Iowa deputy attorney general Thomas H. Miller said: “It would be pretty naive to believe they are the only four [jackpots involved in the scheme.] If you find one cockroach, you have to assume there are 100 more you haven’t found.” So far, the Colorado, Wisconsin and Oklahoma divisions have already confirmed that they handed out jackpots worth $8 million in all to Tipton and his associates.
Authorities first suspected Tipton when a New York lawyer tried to claim a $16.5 million jackpot in 2012 and then withdrew instead of revealing who bought the winning ticket. When they released a surveillance video showing the person who bought the ticket at a gas station, Tipton’s co-workers contacted them to say that the mysterious man looked like him.