35th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC 2019)

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Casino Royale: A Deep Exploration of Illegal Online Gambling

The popularity of online gambling could bring negative social impact, and many countries ban or restrict online gambling. Taking China for example, online gambling violates Chinese laws and hence is illegal. However, illegal online gambling websites are still thriving despite strict restrictions, since they are able to make tremendous illicit profits by trapping and cheating online players. In this paper, we conduct the first deep analysis on illegal online gambling targeting Chinese to unveil its profit chain. After successfully identifying more than 967,954 suspicious illegal gambling websites, we inspect these illegal gambling websites from five aspects, including webpage structure similarity, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) methods, the abuse of Internet infrastructure, third-party online payment, and gambling group. Then we conduct a measurement study on the profit chain of illegal online gambling, investigating the upstream and downstream of these illegal gambling websites. We mainly focus on promotion strategies, third-party online payment, the abuse of third-party live chat services, and network infrastructures. Our findings shed the light on the ecosystem of online gambling and help the security community thwart illegal online gambling.

Hao Yang
Tsinghua University

Kun Du
Tsinghua University

Yubao Zhang
University of Delaware

Shuang Hao
University of Texas at Dallas

Zhou Li
University of California, Irvine

Mingxuan Liu
Tsinghua University

Haining Wang
Virginia Tech

Haixin Duan
Tsinghua University, Beijing National Research Center for Information Science and Technology

Yazhou Shi
Baidu Inc.

Xiaodong Su
Baidu Inc.

Guang Liu
Baidu Inc.

Zhifeng Geng
Baidu Inc.

Jianping Wu
Tsinghua University


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