Vegas Casinos Struggle Amid Resurgent Cyber Attacks, Caesars Pays Massive Ransom

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Caesars Entertainment, one of the largest casino operators in Las Vegas, succumbed and paid a significant ransom to their recent cyber attackers. The details regarding whether MGM Resorts International, another substantial operator who fell prey to a similar cyber onslaught on September 10, chose to follow suit or stand against such demands, remains unclear. Signs suggest that they resisted fulfilling the monetary requests of their intruders.

A noted cybersecurity expert has described this flurry of cyber attacks as a resurrection of structured crime, a parasitic arm reaching out to strangle the financial life out of the thriving Vega Strip. The pressing question that arises: Should large corporations like these give in to the ransom demands or defy them?

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According to reports, Caesars Entertainment parted with $15 million, half the ransom demand made by their attackers. MGM, however, seems to be having the shorter end of the stick, suffering severe consequences that could amount to losses of approximately $8.4 million per day––an unfortunate turn of events, potentially instigated by their refusal to pay the ransom.

Lisa Plaggemier, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, emphasizes the importance of preparedness to mitigate such attacks. The best defense against ransomware attacks, she says, is not paying the ransom but perfecting a proactive response plan. This involves practicing mock ransomware scenarios, identifying system vulnerabilities, and having a stern policy against paying ransoms. Establishing an investment plan into cybersecurity measures could potentially save corporations from making drastic decisions in panic-induced situations.

Observations reveal that MGM may have inadvertently exacerbated its problems by prematurely shutting down its systems. Their network, allegedly, was improperly segmented. Such a fragile infrastructure allows a security breach in one area to spread into multiple ones, analogically compared to a criminal breaking into one store in a mall gaining access to all the other stores.

Despite MGM reportedly having a $200 million financial cushion in cyber insurance to handle large-scale cyberattacks, such reliance may not necessarily deter cybercrime but possibly feed into it.

Paying the ransom does not guarantee corporations the safe retrieval of their stolen data. Noteworthy, too, is the fresh challenge that arises when encountering problems with the encryption keys. Cybercriminals’ assistance in such situations becomes highly unlikely as their customer service aptitude is questionable at best, considering their overall lack of legality.

While this news relates to the physical world of brick-and-mortar casinos, cyber threats are a reality in any corner of the digital age, including in the realm of online casinos. Speaking of which, if you’re interested in exploring the virtual landscape of gambling, browse Canadian online casinos. As seasoned professionals here at West Island Blog, we’ve curated an extensive list of top online casinos that are setting unrivalled standards in cybersecurity to ensure that your experience is both safe and fun. Don’t forget to read our engaging insights on the latest trends in the online casino industry to keep yourself informed!