MGM Resorts Triumphs Over Ten-Day Cyberattack Ordeal, Resumes Normal Operations

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After a grueling ten-day ordeal, MGM Resorts has declared that it has successfully navigated a data security crisis. The company faced a cyberattack that led to a shutdown of its computer systems, impacting components such as hotel reservations and credit card processing. MGM Resorts, based in the bustling city of Las Vegas, reported its operations are now carrying on as expected.

The cyber breach was first noticed on September 10, causing significant disturbances in the company’s functionality. Another casino mogul, Caesars Entertainment, too, fell prey to an online security breach on September 7. Though no disruptions were noted in their casino or online operations, the company admitted it could not guarantee the safety of personal data comprising tens of millions of customers.

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Caesars Entertainment, whose roots trace back to Reno, has allegedly shelled out $15 million to secure their data from a group known as Scattered Spider, who initially demanded a whopping $30 million ransom. Despite the vigor in addressing the issue, it has not been able to clarify whether or not sensitive personal information, such as driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers of loyalty rewards members, was breached.

The magnitude of the MGM breach remains in the unknown as no explicit details have been divulged. Data compromised and the financial implications the company might have incurred remain confidential. Loss estimates hover around $8 million a day, with the total financial hemorrhage potentially reaching an astronomical $80 million. However, given MGM Resorts’ hefty annual revenue of over $14 billion, these losses can be absorbed, explains Gregory Moody, the director of the cybersecurity program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

In a reassuring Wednesday announcement, MGM Resorts confirmed the restoration of services across essential sectors, including resort services, dining offerings, entertainment shows, pools, and spas. Its website and app have resumed taking dining and spa reservations while work is underway to recover the hotel booking and loyalty reward services.

Commenting on the situation, MGM spokesperson Brian Ahern confirmed that normal operations had resumed at all MGM Resorts’ properties scattered across the country, including those located in Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio.

FBI representative in Las Vegas, Sandra Breault, refrained from passing any comments, indicating a still ongoing investigation.

This cyberattack episode reveals glaring security gaps within MGM and Caesars, dispelling a semblance of impregnable casino security.

Despite these disconcerting attacks on physical establishments, the world of online casinos continues to thrive and innovate. With robust defenses against cyber threats, online platforms offer the thrill of gambling in a secure and reliable environment. For those interested in exploring this dynamic domain, you can discover the top online casinos for the month at this link.

Both impacted companies—Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts—are set to reveal the consequences of the attacks in their upcoming quarterly reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission next month.

The origin of the attack on MGM has been associated with Scattered Spider, also known by the moniker Øktapus, a group working under a Russia-based wing known as ALPHV or BlackCat.

Despite the strides made in securing operations, the attacks underscore the importance of investing heavily in cybersecurity and employee training to avoid grievous financial losses brought on by temporary interruptions in service, warns Lisa Plaggemier, head of the nonprofit National Cybersecurity Alliance. Following this, UNLV’s Moody reiterates, “Any target can be breached; defense cannot win 100% of the time. If an advanced persistent threat targets you, they will find a way to access what they should not.”