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Ministry of Health blocked thousands of accesses to online gambling sites

online gambling sites

All over the world, companies and organisations regulate their employees' online access and block individual websites when necessary. This is also the case in the UK, where the Department of Health and Social Care blocked more than 4,000 such attempts last year. According to a report by the news on the official site YOJU casino, this includes 2,081 gambling accesses, such as online sports betting and casinos. The authority handed this data over to the newspaper after a request based on the Freedom of Information Act.

The massive increase in unauthorised access

The number mentioned corresponds to an increase of more than twenty times compared to the previous year, when only 94 attempted accesses to online casinos and the like were registered. The Metro report cites the Corona-related lockdown and the related general increase in online gambling in the UK as a possible reason.

Online sports betting providers accounted for the ministry’s most significant share of dial-up attempts. In addition, 724 attempted web accesses followed this to tools that anonymised browsing history. However, according to the church, it was unclear how many of these had targeted the sites of gambling providers.

However, online gambling was not the only target of employees surfing the net without permission during their working hours. For example, 239 accesses to websites contaminated with spyware and malware were prevented. Also, 135 pages with pornographic content could have been blocked. In addition, the ministry's IT had blocked access to 186 sites with "distasteful" content and 126 sites with questionable or even illegal content. Twelve and seven online sites were dealing with weapons and drugs, respectively.

The authorities were reluctant to give details about the departments that were particularly affected by the accesses. The same applies whether they were increasingly accessed via laptops or from the home office. There was also no information on how many successful attempts were despite the installed blockade of IT.

In a statement, the ministry said:

“We do not investigate who is behind the attempt as the person in question is identified by the reporting system. We ensure that all current cases of breaches of our Acceptable Use of IT policy are escalated through the appropriate chain of command, even if the attempts are unsuccessful”.

But the Health and Social Services Department was not the only government organisation where employees surfed the net far beyond the scope of their duties, Metro said. According to the report, there were more than 8,000 similar attempts in the Cabinet Office, which reports directly to the prime minister, in 2021.

A good 10 % of the websites caught in the firewall had pornographic content. However, the number of online gambling offers accessed was not broken down.

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