MGM Crippled By Ongoing Cyber Attacks

It’s been a rough week for MGM casinos. Especially the ones in Las Vegas. By Friday, they were reporting a fifth day of total chaos in a row after getting seriously hacked. Their guests are not happy. Not only are the slot machines either shut down cold or totally freaking out, the elevators are likely to shut off between floors and the door keys aren’t working.

MGM still hacked

MGM Resorts International “operates 31 hotels — 12 of which are located on the Las Vegas Strip.” All of them are affected. The ones in Las Vegas “continued to be plagued by a ‘cybersecurity issue‘ on Friday,” September 15.

One guest relates the Aria resort was handing out so-called “guest recovery vouchers to any hotel guest who complains about basically anything at all this weekend.” There was a lot to complain about and the $25 vouchers don’t scratch the surface for what patrons are encountering.

The coupon declares the management “sincerely apologizes if any part of your visit has been less than exceptional.” Compare that with images posted on X showing a case of water in an elevator.

It’s surprising they didn’t include a bucket to go with it. “Front desk mentioned some of the elevators were randomly getting stuck,” the user captioned. They didn’t mention which of the MGM hotels was pictured.

In general, “casino floors in Las Vegas are looking uncharacteristically dark.” That’s being seen as “a sign that MGM has not reached an agreement with the ransomware group behind the attack.

A video taken at the Aria casino “showed dozens of gaming machines with blacked-out screens displaying an ‘out of service‘ message, while over in the lobby, a long line stretched at the reception desk.” More of the slots were powered up “with screens flickering in a very apparent software issue.” One social media user noted “the Aria slot machines are extra hacked today.

Vague about what happened

It’s easy to see why MGM would be cagey about giving details on how their entire IT infrastructure was hijacked at all levels. The properties on the strip aren’t the only ones affected. So are their holdings in seven more states. The company is rushing to assure the public that “the vast majority of our property offerings currently remain operational.

It’s only the slot machines, elevators, and door keys which aren’t working. Don’t let the incident affect your travel plans, they beg. They’re still accepting reservations “through third-party booking sites.

MGM still has a few old-school machines up and running but “those that were working required handpay, meaning an MGM staffer dished out winnings in cash,” which they’re hemorrhaging.

Besides eye-watering financial losses and offline slot machines, other reports over the past few days included guests getting locked out of their rooms, hotel phones not working and MGM’s company website crashing.

Digital security watchdog site Cybernews has identified the hackers behind the breach as “the ALPHV/BlackCat ransomware group,” who “issued a statement around 8 p.m. on Thursday threatening ‘additional attacks‘ if their ransom demands are not met.” MGM isn’t talking about caving in but they aren’t ruling out the possibility either. They aren’t saying much at all.

At the same time, “Caesars Entertainment on Thursday reportedly paid roughly $15 million in an attempt to placate hackers who threatened to leak the sensitive customer data stolen during a summer cyberattack.” The hackers ended up with “a copy of the Caesars’ loyalty program database, including the driver’s license numbers and Social Security numbers ‘for a significant number‘ of customers.

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