Cyber attacks are a persistent threat to online casinos in the US and worldwide. Casino operators use sophisticated SSL encryptions, malware sweeps, strict privacy policies, and robust authentication to combat fraud, viruses, hackers, and other common threats. However, the threat is always imminent. The most recent attacks have left punters in US casinos feeling vulnerable and in need of more advanced security measures.
Hackers managed to breach MGM, Caesars, and three other US firms. According to Online Casinos NJ, the MGM Resorts cyber security issue has affected various outlets, including the Atlantic City Casino. The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa also suffered problems with their computer systems. Payment processing systems and the MGM Rewards were compromised, and an investigation has begun to determine the full scope and reasoning behind the attack.
Only recently, Caesars Entertainment was compromised by hackers who asked for a ransom of $30 million to restore operations. The company paid roughly half the ransom to regain control and protect its consumer base from further disruptions. Caesars and MGM lost market value after their stock prices fell following the attacks. MGM is working with experts and investigators to resume normalcy at affected gaming venues in LA and Macau.
If reputable casinos like MGM and Caesars are getting compromised, punters in smaller outlets may wonder if they are safe. However, hackers and frauds are known to attack the major hitters because of the massive ransoms they can request. Cyber attacks seldom target small casinos, but the threat is never far away. In an interview with Reuters, Okta's chief security officer, David Bradbury, said that hacking groups had attacked five client companies.
The hacking groups, identified as ALPHV and Scattered Spider, targeted companies in the casino, manufacturing, technology, and retail space. These attacks started in August, casting a fresh spotlight on cyber attacks and ransomware. Such attacks affect hundreds of businesses and companies across all sectors, from telecom to healthcare providers. MGM and Caesars are just the recent victims of ransomware attacks that plague US casinos.
Okta, based in San Fransisco, provides identity services to over 17,000 customers worldwide. The company offers multifactor authentication services to help users access online websites and applications securely. Five of Okta's clients, including MGM and Caesars, were affected by the recent ransomware attacks, which prompted the company to issue an alert in August. Okta is currently cooperating with officials to investigate the breach.
The number of cyber-attacks has risen over the last 12 months. Okta's chief security officer said that customers were reporting a consistent pattern of attacks. The hackers attempted to impersonate employees and convince IT helpdesks to provide duplicate access to the computer systems. MGM hasn't commented on the scope of the breach other than mentioning that the company was dealing with a cybersecurity issue. However, Caesars was more open and said it was investigating the financially-motivated breach.
Meanwhile, the ALPHV hacking group claimed the MGM hack by posting it on their website on Friday. The group warned MGM of unleashing further attacks if the company didn't strike a ransom deal. No information has been revealed about how much ALPHV demands from the gambling powerhouse. Investigations continue, but punters will be more cautious about the casinos they visit and the information they give up.