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  • Matthew Ortega

The Hacking of the Las Vegas Strip



By: Matthew Ortega Edited By: Ashlyn Bi October 30, 2023

 

The Las Vegas Strip has reportedly been hit with a series of hackings, taking down notable Casinos such as Caesars Palace and MGM, resulting in millions of dollars stolen. Las Vegas is easily one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world, with the millions of visitors they attract wishing to hit gold. But instead of leaving with newfound riches, tourists face long check-in lines, unlockable rooms, and no electricity. MGM, a world-renowned company and resort in Las Vegas, has had the entire casino system hacked through one call to the right person on September 11, 2023. As the largest casino company in the world in part of their merger with Mandalay, MGM must do better for their tourists and stakeholders who reasonably expect a certain level of protection and security.

The hacking of MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment was in the hands of Scattered Spider, a hacking group and gang of American and U.K. criminals that have been mostly seen targeting telecommunications. To MGM and Caesar's dismay in 2023, they decided to make the jump into the mainstream as they hacked some of the most well-known corporations in America. This case effectively showcased the vulnerabilities within Las Vegas by depicting the ease of gaining internal access to the MGM company, manipulating them against their will. Additionally, through the Scattered Spider gang's illegal entry into MGM International and Caesars Entertainment, the thoughtlessness of the two conglomerates has been exposed in their habit of hiring inexperienced IT board members. The hiring of incredible IT workers is significant because Scattered Spider gained access to Caesars Palace and later MGM through social tactics they enacted on members who otherwise may not have fallen for Scattered Spiders’ lies if they had been experienced or credible. Thankfully, Caesars Palace was able to pay off Scattered Spiders' ransom, but MGM decided not to give in, leading to thousands of innocent individuals' data being stolen.

While Caesars Palace and MGM Resorts International fell victim to the Scattered Spider hacking, Caesars Palace demonstrated its commitment to customer security through its swift payment to the hacking gang, Scattered Spider. On the other hand, MGM Resorts International declined to do so, revealing their lesser concern for customer safety resulting in the robbing of bank information for people such as Dulce Martinez who states that the day she found out MGM Resorts and Casinos had been hacked she checked her bank statements and it showed that an unknown person had entered and charged various items to her bank account. Tourists and casino goers in Las Vegas expect only one thing from the resort they specifically choose to visit: security and a fun time. MGM failed to grant either of the two, and worst, they allowed their company and customer data to fall under siege for ten days. Those who wish to stay at the Las Vegas strip can be relieved that the siege of both casinos has finished, but whoever visits the casinos should be mindful of how both companies act regarding the hacking and stealing of their company data to choose a company which is interested in their security.

Through MGM and Caesars Palace's hiring of inexperienced IT workers, the entire casino industry has been put in danger. Moreover, hackers across the world have realized that these seemingly secure American mega-corporations are not as impenetrable as they may have once thought. More people will attempt to extort these casino companies through these two companies’ failure to protect themselves and their customers.

 

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