MGM Resorts Grapples with Cybersecurity Challenge

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September 12, 2023
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MGM Resorts, a leader in the casino and hospitality sector, temporarily deactivated various computer-related services, including its official website, due to a digital security concern. The announcement was made public via a post on the company’s social media on Monday.

This cybersecurity interruption affected almost every element of the casino giant’s functioning. The disruption influenced services such as reservation platforms, the hotel’s electronic access systems, and the main casino areas.

Moreover, the organization’s email services were momentarily suspended in light of the cybersecurity situation and as of now, haven’t been reestablished.

By Monday night, MGM announced that the casino sections had resumed functionality. However, reservation tools used for their myriad of hotel accommodations and dining reservation systems were still inactive over 24 hours post the initial reports.

With numerous accommodations spread across Las Vegas and the broader US, MGM’s revenue from these hotel rooms in the entertainment city surpasses their direct casino earnings, as indicated by their SEC submissions. For the quarter concluding on June 30, MGM documented a revenue of $706.7 million from Las Vegas accommodations, in contrast to a casino income of $492.2 million.

MGM, in a statement on X (previously known as Twitter), remarked, “In the wake of the incident, we promptly embarked on an examination with insights from renowned cybersecurity specialists. Concurrently, we informed the authorities and undertook immediate measures to safeguard our digital infrastructure and information.”

Also Read: Google’s Privacy Sandbox is Shaping the Future of Browsing

MGM Resorts Grapples with Cybersecurity Challenge

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has acknowledged the incident, though they haven’t disclosed any further specifics.

Consequently, MGM’s stock value dropped by nearly 2.4% as of Monday’s close.

Currently, MGM’s website showcases a notification urging customers to directly call their respective hotels or casinos. The exact inception of this system interruption remains uncertain, but some reports from online users suggest that potential issues were identified as early as Sunday evening.

This isn’t MGM’s first brush with digital security concerns. In 2020, data of over 10 million MGM guests was unveiled on a hacker’s platform. MGM verified that this breach occurred during the summer of the previous year.

The extent to which government agencies are involved, aside from the FBI, remains ambiguous. However, it’s worth noting that the US government classified sectors like gaming and hospitality as essential infrastructure back in 2003.

In a strategy outlined in 2015, the Department of Homeland Security cautioned, “Significant disruptions in communication or deliberate online attacks have the potential to severely impede normal operations, jeopardize private data of companies and clients, tarnish organizational reputation, and lead to substantial legal and financial repercussions.”

Saher Mahmood

Saher Mahmood

Author

Saher is a cybersecurity researcher with a passion for innovative technology and AI. She explores the intersection of AI and cybersecurity to stay ahead of evolving threats.

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