LAS VEGAS (AP) — Dulce Martinez got a persistent error message Monday when she tried to access her casino rewards account to book accommodations for an upcoming business trip.
That’s odd, she thought, then toggled on Facebook to look for clues about the issue on a group of MGM Resorts International loyalty members. There, he learns that Las Vegas’s largest casino owner has become the victim of a cyber security breach.
Martinez, 45, immediately checked her bank statement for the credit card linked to her loyalty account. Now she was greeted with four new transactions she didn’t recognize — she said the fee increased from $9.99 to $46 with each transaction. He canceled the credit card.
Troubled by the thought of what other information the hackers might have stolen, Martinez, a publicist from Los Angeles, said he has signed up for a credit report monitoring program, which will cost $20 monthly.
“It’s been kind of an issue for me,” she said, “but I’m monitoring my credit now, and now I’m taking these extra steps.”
MGM Resorts said the incident began Sunday, affecting reservations and casino floors in Las Vegas and other states. Videos on social media showed that video slot machines had been shut down. Some customers said their hotel room cards are not working. Others said they were canceling trips this weekend.
The situation entered its sixth day on Friday, with booking capacities still low and MGM Resorts offering penalty-free room cancellations through September 17. Company spokesman Brian Ahern declined to answer questions from The Associated Press on Friday, including whether the information was provided. Compromised in breach.
By Thursday, Caesars Entertainment – the world’s largest casino owner – confirmed it had also been hit by a cybersecurity attack. The casino giant said there were no disruptions to the computer operations of its casinos and hotels, but it could not say with certainty that the personal information of millions of its customers was safe following the data breach.
The security attacks that led to the FBI investigation shattered the public perception that defeating casino security required an “Ocean 11” level effort.
“When people think about security, they really think about big super-computers, firewalls, lots of security systems,” said Yohwan Kim, a computer science professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, whose expertise includes Network security included.
It’s true, Kim said, that casino giants like MGM Resorts and Caesars are protected by sophisticated — and expensive — security operations. But no system is perfect.
“Hackers are always fighting for that 0.0001% weakness,” Kim said. “Typically, that weakness is human-related, like phishing.”
Tony Anscombe, chief security officer at San Diego-based cybersecurity company ESET, said it appeared the attacks may have been carried out as a “socially engineered attack,” meaning the hackers used phone calls, text messages or phishing emails. Such tactics have been used. To break the system.
“Security is only as good as the weakest link, and unfortunately, like many cyberattacks, human behavior is the method cybercriminals use to gain access to a company’s keystones,” Anscombe said.
As some Las Vegas casino floors were evacuated this week due to a security breach, a hacker group emerged online claiming responsibility for the attack on Caesars Entertainment’s systems and saying it demanded the company pay a $30 million ransom fee. Had asked for.
It has not been officially determined whether any of the affected companies paid a ransom to regain control of their data. But experts say that if someone had done this, more attacks could have happened.
“If it happened to MGM, the same thing could happen to other properties,” said Kim, the UNLV professor. “There will definitely be more attacks. So they have to prepare.”
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