What an interesting read.
Alex, the hacker in the story, claims he has reverse-engineered programmable random-number generators
(PRNGs), allowing him to identify when a slot machine will generate a big win. And, according to the story, Aristocrat admits he was perhaps successful
on some of its older slot machines (many of which are still in use at many American and international casinos). Alex claims to have worked as a cryptologist for FSB (the Russian equivalent of the CIA/NSA). If Alex is correct, then all of us should probably be worried about a lot more than just jiggered slot machines
As computer technology increasingly imbeds itself into every aspect of our lives, we become more at risk of people like Alex (and government agencies with whom they may work) attacking more than slot machines. Every level of government finds it next to impossible to protect their critical computer systems
amidst today's rapid technological advances. These vulnerabilities put at risk systems such as electric distribution networks, for example. Might system weaknesses allow an "Alex" (individual or government entity) the ability to infect the computer controlling a city's traffic lights, shutting them down (or, worse, turning all lights green)? I think we've already seen where FAA computers have experienced problems (whether or not actually "hacked").
And, our government apparently requires technology companies to provide "back doors
" it can use to access otherwise "secure" data. This puts everyone at risk if others identify how to compromise security critical to American infrastructure, all implemented so often now with out-of-date technology designed with "back-door" security flaws.