Bill Hornbuckle, CEO of MGM Resorts, has revealed that the company did not pay a ransom following a recent cyberattack. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
We reveal some finer details
Bill Hornbuckle, CEO of MGM Resorts International, has revealed more details about the casino company’s recent cyberattack. When he appeared as a keynote speaker at the Global Gaming Expo on Tuesday, he answered a few questions, calling the attack “corporate terrorism at its finest” and adding that he wouldn’t wish the same problem on anyone.
The few weeks following the breach were “devastating”
Hornbuckle said the hack was random and involved social engineering. He told the audience at the Venetian that the few weeks following the breach were “devastating.”
The MGM team noticed the issue the day after it occurred and was able to respond quickly to protect as much data as possible by closing certain systems. Then the intruders realized what was happening and shut down all other active systems.
He said that for the next four or five days, the company was “completely in the dark” trying to manage its 36,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas. Everything from the room key cards to the hotel and casino systems were inoperable.
No ransom paid
Hornbuckle confirmed that MGM did not pay a ransom to the attackers, saying this was a tactical decision based on the time it would take MGM to extricate itself from the attack and, in comparison, the encryption keys from the attackers to obtain.
Caesars Entertainment suffered a similar attack shortly before MGM’s ordeal and ended up paying a $15 million ransom.
Although the entire incident is estimated to cost the company $100 million, cyber insurance is expected to cover the cost of the hack. All commercial systems are now operational again, but some other systems are not yet fully operational. The company plans to reinvest in infrastructure, processes and employees in the future.
The attackers’ entry point was the MGM technical team’s call center, through which they gained access using social engineering methods. The plan is to revise processes in the future to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again. Hornbuckle is confident that customers’ credit card information was not breached.
More important topics to talk about in Las Vegas
During Tuesday’s conversation, Hornbuckle also mentioned the excitement surrounding the Formula One race on the Strip next month, saying it will be the biggest event the city has ever hosted. The company’s average daily room rates increased approximately 400% around race weekend.
assumes that a satisfactory result for all parties can be achieved in the coming weeks
Hornbuckle also addressed current tensions surrounding resort properties and the Culinary Union, where strikes may be imminent. He assumes that a satisfactory result for all parties can be achieved in the coming weeks.