Cyberattacks strike casino giants Caesars and MGM

Casino titans Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts have reported cyberattacks, but there has been minimal disruption to their casino and online operations.

System attack: Despite the cyberattacks, Caesars Entertainment confirmed to the federal Securities and Exchange Commission that its operations were not disrupted, but it could not assure the security of customers’ personal information due to a data breach.
* The breach on September 7 may have exposed the driver’s license and Social Security numbers of loyalty rewards members.
* Steps have been taken to delete the stolen data by the unauthorized actor, although the company couldn’t guarantee this result.

Possible attackers: Speculation views a group named Scattered Spider as the likely perpetrator for the intrusion, and the subsequent attack on MGM Resorts.
* New Zealand-based cybersecurity firm Emsisoft’s threat analyst, Brett Callow, noted that Scattered Spider appears to be native English speakers operating under a Russia-based operation called ALPHV or BlackCat.

Technique and impact: The attack method involves SMS phishing and phone calls to obtain password resets or multifactor bypass codes.
* Cybersecurity firm Mandiant pointed out that they have targeted at least 100 organizations, mainly in the U.S. and Canada.
* Moreover, no evidence suggests that the intruder gained member passwords or bank account and payment card information.

Fallout from the attacks: The attacks have had knock-on effects on customers although operations continue.
* In the aftermath of the cyberattacks, MGM Resorts International had to shut down computer systems at its properties across the U.S. to protect data, affecting reservations and casino floors.
* MGM Resorts announced that some computer systems were still down, including hotel reservations and payroll.
* Both casino giants are offering their loyalty program customers credit monitoring and identity theft protection services.

What they’re saying: Brett Callow described recovery from such cyberattacks as potentially taking several months, and highlighted that there is no way to actually know whether hackers delete stolen data or repurpose it elsewhere.

View original article on NPR

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