MGM hotels and casinos forced to shut down systems due to ‘cybersecurity issue’

Several hotel gaming machines had gone offline, according to KTNV 13, a Las Vegas television station, and numerous visitors were unable to make reservations, charge anything to their rooms or use their digital room keys.

MGM Hotels and Casinos resorts “continue to deliver the experiences MGM is known for,” including its dining, entertainment and gaming options, according to a statement issued Monday evening.

The company stated: “Our guests continue to have access to their hotel rooms and our front desk staff is prepared to assist our guests as needed.” “Thank you for your patience.”

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‘Cybersecurity issue’ forces MGM hotels and casinos to shut down systems

MGM Hotels and Casinos Shut Down Systems Due to Cybersecurity IssueCredit: Canva

It was unclear how many people were affected by the cybersecurity disruptions. With sites including Mandalay Bay, Aria, Bellagio and MGM Grand Las Vegas, MGM is a renowned hotel and casino brand with thousands of hotel rooms in Las Vegas.

According to Greg Moody, associate professor of information systems and cybersecurity at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a “cybersecurity issue” is typically an attack on a company’s network by an individual or group.

Dr. Moody, who has collaborated with the corporation and members of its technology team on several projects, speculated that in the MGM case, the attacker or attackers may have “found some gap in their armor” and used it to take down the company systems. .

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MGM Hotels and Casinos Shut Down Systems Due to Cybersecurity IssueCredit: AP

He stated that hackers frequently carried out these types of operations to obtain money. Attackers typically steal data from a company and hold it hostage until the company agrees to pay a ransom for its release.

Attackers will also resell the data they have obtained on a dark web marketplace where buyers search for information such as names, numbers or addresses that can be used to commit identity theft.

Dr. Moody believes this luxurious hotel is a target

According to Dr. Moody, MGM is a target because it is a major organization with a huge amount of data.

According to Arthur Salmon, a professor of computer science and information technology at the College of Southern Nevada and the program’s cybersecurity director, large corporations are frequent targets of cyberattacks.

However, the growing urgency to return systems to normal makes three industries common targets for these types of attacks, according to Dr. Salmon.

They are public service companies, since customer complaints often make the news; hospitals, as interruptions pose a risk to patients; and casinos, as customer data leaks could damage their brand.

MGM Hotels and Casinos Shut Down Systems Due to Cybersecurity IssueCredit: AP

Dr Salmon said the security team had to be completely precise: “And threats continually evolve, expand and become more complex. Only once needs to be right to prevent an attacker.”

According to Yoohwan Kim, a network security professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, thieves occasionally steal data from a large, financially secure organization, demand a ransom for the key to unlock its systems, and then wait for the company to pay.

Cyber ​​attack may take some time to recover

Dr Salmon believes ransom payments can vary, but for larger companies they are typically in the hundreds of thousands or millions.

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Experts say recovery after a major cybersecurity attack can take months or years.

An oil pipeline, hospitals and supermarket chains experienced disruptions to their operations due to recent cyber attacks, which may have compromised some intelligence organizations. In 2019, a data breach occurred at MGM that reportedly affected 10.6 million people.

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