MGM latest in cyber crosshairs

Casino and hotel operator has become the latest target of cyber criminals.

Certain systems were shut down due to a “cyber-security issue”, the firm said, though it stressed that its facilities remained “operational”.

In a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, MGM Resorts said it had begun an investigation “with assistance from leading external cybersecurity experts”.

“We also notified law enforcement and took prompt action to protect our systems and data, including shutting down certain systems,” the statement said.

The company said its investigation was ongoing with the “nature and scope” of the cyber-attack still to be determined.

In a subsequent statement it said: “Our resorts including dining, entertainment and gaming are still operational. Our guests continue to be able to access their hotel rooms and our Front Desk is ready to assist our guests as needed.”

This is the second time in recent years that MGM Resorts has confirmed a cyber-security incident.

In 2019, one of the company’s cloud services was breached, and hackers stole more than 10 million customer records. People’s names, addresses and passport numbers were taken.

It is not yet known whether similar data has been stolen as a result of this latest cyber-attack.

Commenting on the attack, Zane Bond, head of product at Keeper Security said: “This devastating cyberattack against MGM Resorts International highlights both the high value and extreme vulnerability of the broader hotel and casino industry.”

“As with other industries, casinos and hotels collect a wide range of sensitive information about their guests, from credit card information to PII, all while transacting enormous sums of money.”

“However, with this industry specifically, the intellectual property that underpins casino operations provides an additional unique and extremely valuable target for cybercriminals. Think of all of the software that runs modern gaming systems, like slot machines. Casinos aren’t just gaming companies anymore; they’re software developers and these systems are some of the most advanced and connected in the world. The technology in gambling is astounding.”