US lottery security head 'fixed results'


The US lottery's former head of security has been accused of hacking into the system to make sure his ticket won the draw, although he never actually claimed his winnings.

Eddie Raymond Tipton was the security director for the Multi-State Lottery Association in Iowa, but was arrested in March on two counts of fraud.

The court papers suggested he used a thumb drive loaded with a rootkit in the computer set up to randomly generate the winning numbers. The rootkit was designed to predetermine the numbers for the lottery and then erase itself, leaving no trace of the hack.

The computer was situated in glass room, is not connected to the internet to avoid hacks and the rules for access to the computer state that two people must be present in order for it to work. CCTV also covers it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

However, Tipton also allegedly changed the CCTV camera settings to only record one second out of every minute so he wouldn't be caught.

Mike McLaughlin, senior analyst at computer security company First Base told the BBC: "It is entirely possible to code a rootkit on a USB drive which could interfere with software on a computer then delete itself.

"It would only take a second to run once plugged in. However, this can leave traces on the infected machine if you know where to look."

Lottery employees are not allowed to win the lottery, although a company based in Belize, the day it was due to expire, attempted a claim with the ticket. This triggered an investigation into the ticket, during which Tipton's actions were questioned.

Prosecutors wrote in the filing: "There is sufficient evidence for a jury to reasonably conclude from the evidence that Defendant tampered with lottery equipment."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.