Hackers Target French EuroMillions Website
October 29, 2012

French Lottery Site Targeted By Religious Hackers

Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Whilst Las Vegas has long accepted — proudly as it happens — the moniker of “sin city,” not everyone takes such a light hearted view of gambling. In France a group calling themselves the “Moroccanghost” hacked into a French lottery site and left messages in both French and Arabic denouncing gambling as the “work of the devil.”

BBC News reports that the hackers also blocked access to the French EuroMillions site, and exhorted people to quit gambling. Messages left on the site stated, “oh you believers. Wine, games of chance, statues of augur impurity and are the works of the devil,” while also noting that gambling was used by the devil, along with alcohol to, “sow hatred between yourselves and turn you away from God and prayer.”

Both gambling and alcohol are forbidden in Islam.

The Qur´an specifically calls out gambling or “maisir,” which includes games of chance, and Muslims were ordered to abstain from them, as these were “abominations of Satan´s handiwork.” The Qur´an notes:

“They ask you about wine and gambling. Say: ℠In them both lies grave sin, though some benefit, to mankind. But their sin is more grave than their benefit.´”

However, some forms of gambling are acceptable in Islam, those that do not involve chance — and according to tradition are still accepted as the Prophet permitted these. The forms of gambling that are permitted include archery contests, horse races and camel races, but only the participants in the actual events are permitted under Islam to make wagers with one another.

It is thus forbidden for spectators to bet on those events.

Because of the religious laws that ban gambling there are a few casinos in the Middle East, with just four casinos in Israel, three in Egypt and just one in Lebanon. Those in Egypt and Lebanon cater mainly to tourists.

A backlash against gambling and other sins has been increasing in the Muslim world. Earlier this month 12 men were arrested at three gaming outlets in Malaysia. While it is legal for non-Muslims to partake in gambling in Malaysia in tourist resorts, it is illegal for Muslims to take part. The 12 men, who included Indonesian and Pakistan nationals, were detained by the Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department.

They face up to two years in jail if convicted under the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment of 1996.

This recent attack on the website is the first of its kind outside the Middle East.

France, which has a total population of 65 million, has the largest Islamic population in Western Europe with an estimated four million Muslims.

The Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) company, which runs EuroMillions in France, said its other games were unaffected. The message appeared on the site Sunday morning, but was taken down by the evening, although the site was still offline.

FDJ said in a statement that the pages concerned were in “the process of being put back up.”

According to reports while the site was targeted and offline, none of the games had been compromised and neither had any data.

The EuroMillions lottery, which launched in 2004, is played in nine countries in Europe including Austria, Belgium, Britain, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.

The next drawing for the EuroMillions jackpot is scheduled for Tuesday and as of Monday morning more than 100 million euros were up for grabs, making for serious temptation indeed.