Cyber attack not yet confirmed

FBI investigating cyber incident at MGM Resorts that caused widespread shutdown of IT systems

MGM Grand in Las Vegas
Reading time 1:50 min

The FBI is currently conducting an investigation into a "cyber incident" that occurred at MGM Resorts International, resulting in the shutdown of computer systems at company properties across the United States. MGM Resorts has clarified that its resorts remain open.

The FBI has classified the investigation as ongoing, with no additional information available at this time, the Associated Press reported, citing Special Agent Mark Neria, spokesperson for the bureau in Las Vegas.

The company disclosed that the incident commenced on Sunday, leading to the shutdown of "certain systems" in an effort to safeguard data. While not explicitly terming it a cyberattack, MGM Resorts did not specify which systems were impacted.

The effects of this incident were felt in reservations and casino operations across locations including Las Vegas and states such as Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio.

MGM Resorts, headquartered in Las Vegas, released a statement on Monday night confirming that "resorts, including dining, entertainment, and gaming, are currently operational."

The company reassured guests that they could access their hotel rooms, and the front desk staff was available to provide assistance as required. "Bottom line, our customers are being served," company spokesperson Brian Ahern was quoted as telling AP.

An expert in cybersecurity told Las Vegas Review-Journal it’s too early to speculate whether MGM Resorts was the victim of hackers in a ransomware attack, although numerous clues point in that direction. “I’m sure they’re losing money every minute, every hour, every day,” Alex Hamerstone said Tuesday.

The expert further said not only did MGM lose money from failed hotel and restaurant reservation bookings and inaccessible slot machines and sports bets, but the company took a reputational hit as well. "I think that people are much less forgiving when you ruin their vacation or ruin their holiday. Some people save up all year to go to Vegas," he pointed out.

Numerous guests have taken to social media to share their experiences of being unable to conduct credit card transactions, withdraw money from ATMs, or access their hotel rooms using key cards. Some shared images depicting video slot machines that were not functioning.

As of Tuesday, the company's website remained "unavailable." However, it did provide telephone numbers for reaching the reservation system and properties.

A post on the company's BetMGM website in Nevada acknowledged that some customers were unable to log in, though users from other states were able to access the site.

MGM Resorts International manages a significant number of hotel rooms in Las Vegas, including its flagship MGM Grand, as well as properties such as Bellagio, Aria, New York-New York, and Mandalay Bay; along with resorts all over the country. Additionally, the company operates resorts in China and Macau.

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