Caesars Pays Hackers NZ$ 25 Million Ransom

The international gambling operator Caesars Entertainment has announced that the company had paid around $15 million (NZ$ 25m) in ransom after a cyber attack that shut down all the US activities of the world famous gambling operator. Caesars, the operator of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas amongst others, fell victim to hackers.

On Wednesday 13 September 2023, it emerged that the Western hacker group Scattered Spider, also known as UNC 3944, was behind the cyber attack. These cyber criminals specialise in impersonation and malware, with the main objective to extort ransoms. The hack at Caesars is said to have been accomplished via a fraudulent telephone call lasting just ten minutes making it possible for the hackers to enter into the casino’s systems.

Caesars is one of the latest gambling operators being attacked by hackers. MGM Resorts was also severely affected by a cyber attack shutting down all operations of the company. No information has been shared whether MGM Resorts has paid a ransom.

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Cyberattack By American and British Hackers

The Western group of hackers consist of young adults who mainly live in the United States and the United Kingdom, as reported by Bloomberg. In addition to MGM Resorts, the hackers targeted dozens of other major companies with the same objective. According to Bloomberg, Caesars Entertainment did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment, but they saw no other choice and were forced to proceed with the payment.

The gaming industry has increasingly become an important target for hackers due to the vast amount of personal and financial data collected from customers. The industry has seen an impressive surge in cyberattacks this year, with gambling operators from all over the world targeted. Hackers are not only disrupting computer systems but also stealing sensitive data and threatening to reveal it unless a ransom is paid.

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MGM Also Attacked By Hackers

Caesars is one of the latest names in the growing list of targeted companies by cyber criminals. US based MGM Resorts was hacked last week as well, leading to a complete collapse of the company’s activities in the United States. MGM Resorts offers several casino resorts in mainly the US and Macau, including different establishments on the Las Vegas Strip. The hack affects both the website and the casino floors. The activities in Macau were not affected by the hack. The reservation systems, among other things, were down due to the hack, meaning that rooms couldn’t be booked online.

The pokie machines on the casino floors also faced problems whilst pin payments were not accepted. The hack was carried out on September 11, 2023. Websites of well-known casinos such as the Bellagio, the MGM Grand, and Luxor, were offline as a consequence. Guests of the casinos also experienced problems with their check-ins and check-outs, as staff wasn’t able to access the reservation systems. Credit card systems went offline too. It wasn’t the first time that MGM Resorts has been hit by a hack. In 2019, hackers managed to steal personal data from more than 30 million guests. No details have been released so far whether MGM Resorts has paid a ransom to hackers.

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