MGM Refuses to Pay Ransom After Cyberattack Causes $100 Million Losses
In a recent cyber attack that disrupted its services and website, MGM Resorts faced hefty losses of up to $100 million. Despite the challenges caused by the hack, the company stood firm against the hackers’ ransom demands.
The cyber attack on MGM Resorts lasted for 10 days, and the estimated damage exceeded $100 million, as revealed in a regulatory filing. The repercussions were significant, including the blackout of 12 casino venues on the Las Vegas strip, disruptions in hotel reservations, and the distribution of free food and drink vouchers.
However, MGM chose not to cave in to the hackers’ demands, following the advice of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI has consistently discouraged companies from paying ransoms, as it does not guarantee the return of stolen data and only encourages further illegal activities.
In contrast, Caesars Entertainment reportedly paid nearly $15 million to appease hackers who had compromised its systems and threatened to release confidential customer data. This amount is about half of what was initially requested.
During the hack, MGM guests faced delays in check-in, and the company acknowledged that hackers accessed customer details such as names, contact details, dates of birth, driver’s license details, and, in some cases, social security numbers and passports. Thankfully, sensitive data like passwords, bank credentials, and card information were not compromised.
To address the situation, MGM has started notifying affected customers and offering free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services as a goodwill gesture. The company also assured the public that most customer-centric systems are now working, and it expects full restoration of services soon. The expenses related to the cyber attack amounted to less than $10 million, but the total loss is projected to be around $100 million.
The hackers responsible for this breach are believed to be individuals from Generation Z, mostly between the ages of 17 and 22. The group behind the attack, known as Scattered Spider, is said to have obtained employee data through social engineering tactics and familiarized themselves with the company’s operations before launching the attack. ALPHV, a larger group identified as a “ransomware-as-a-service” provider, likely supplied Scattered Spider with the necessary software and tools for the breach.
The MGM cyber attack serves as a reminder that even large corporations are vulnerable to sophisticated cybercriminals. Businesses worldwide must prioritize strengthening their security measures and remain vigilant in the face of evolving cyber threats. Collaboration between firms, as witnessed in the MGM and Okta connections, will also be crucial in understanding and mitigating future threats.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Did MGM pay the ransom demanded by the hackers?
A: No, MGM chose not to pay the ransom following the FBI’s advice against doing so.
Q: How much did MGM lose due to the cyber attack?
A: The estimated losses from the cyber attack on MGM Resorts exceeded $100 million.
Q: What kind of data did the hackers access during the breach?
A: The hackers accessed customer details such as names, contact details, dates of birth, driver’s license details, and, in some instances, social security numbers and passports. However, sensitive data like passwords, bank credentials, and card information remained secure.
Q: Did Caesars Entertainment pay the ransom demanded by hackers?
A: Yes, Caesars Entertainment reportedly paid nearly $15 million as ransom to appease hackers who had compromised its systems and threatened to release confidential customer data.
Q: Who were the hackers behind the MGM cyber attack?
A: The hackers responsible for the breach were believed to be individuals from Generation Z, mostly between the ages of 17 and 22. They operated under the name “Scattered Spider.”
Q: What repercussions did the cyber attack have on MGM’s operations?
A: The cyber attack led to the blackout of 12 casino venues on the Las Vegas strip, disruptions in hotel reservations, and the distribution of free food and drink vouchers. However, MGM has reported that its domestic operations have stabilized, and most customer-centric systems are now working.