The MGM Resorts Cyberattack: Hackers Steal Customer’s Personal Data

What happened?

One of the largest gambling firms, MGM Resorts International, announced that in October 2023 they had been forced to shut down their systems after a cyber-attack was detected. In their attempt to contain the damage and prevent more data from being potentially leaked or captured by cyber criminals, MGM’s system shut down has resulted in a $100 million cost to their third-quarter results, due to the need to restore all the shutdown systems.

Though nothing has been explicitly stated on how the hackers were able to breach the system, two well-known hacking groups, Scattered Spider and AlphV, claim to have worked together to exploit a cybersecurity hole and breach MGM’s system to steal user data to hold for ransom.

AlphV claims to have initially infiltrated MGM’s network without deploying any ransomware. They exploited vulnerabilities in MGM’s Okta Agent servers to sniff passwords, gaining super administrator privileges to MGM’s Okta and Global Administrator privileges to their Azure tenant.

Technical takeaway

The attack underscores the critical importance of securing identity and access management (IAM) solutions like Okta. A lapse here essentially handed over the ‘keys to the kingdom.’

How could this have been prevented?

Cyber security is not something to be taken lightly. Even the smallest hole can allow bad actors to gain access to extremely sensitive and private information. While MGMs quick action to shut down their systems may have prevented even more people from becoming victims, many other customers weren’t as lucky. When it comes to security, ensuring that data is protected end-point to end-point can help prevent attacks like these from occurring.

Eclypses MTE Technology is a revolutionary data security that protects information from the moment it is created. This protects the gaps in security that more traditional methods have that are exploited by bad actors, preventing hackers from breaking through and stealing private data in zero-day attacks.

MTE Technology generates instantly obsolete, meaningless, random streams of values that can be used to replace any form of data transmitted between endpoints or can be utilized as single use encryption keys. This means that when data is in transit, it can only be understood by the intended recipients. Even if a hacker were to gain access to the system through an attack such as phishing, the data would be useless to them as they could not understand the encrypted data. With attacks like the one executed on MGM becoming more and more common, leaving security up to chance is not a viable method anymore. Companies must implement the best security possible to ensure the peace of mind and safety of their customers’ private information.

Interested to learn more about Eclypses MTE technology? Contact us today.

  • Siddiqui, Z. (2023, October 6). Casino giant MGM expects $100 million hit from hack that led to data breach. Reuters.
  • The MGM Resorts Attack: Initial analysis. (n.d.). The MGM Resorts Attack: Initial Analysis.
  • Home | Okta Developer. (n.d.).
  • Kagan, S. (2023, September 21). Unmasking the ALPHV-MGM Saga: A masterclass in cybersecurity missteps and ethical conundrums. The Final Hop.