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Caesars Resorts Paid Millions to Cybercrime Group Before MGM Hack

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Caesars Pays Millions in Ransom to Cybercrime Group Prior to MGM Hack

Days before MGM Resorts fell victim to a cyberattack, Caesars, another casino operator, paid a ransom of $15 million to a cybercrime group that had infiltrated and disrupted its systems, according to sources familiar with the matter. The same cybercrime group has also made a ransom demand to MGM. These incidents highlight the increasing threat faced by the gaming industry from highly disruptive cyberattacks.

Ransom Payments and Cyber Insurance

Caesars initially faced a $30 million ransom demand from the cybercrime group but ultimately agreed to pay approximately half that amount. The company's cyber insurance policies will help mitigate some of the costs. Caesars, however, does not expect the ransom payment or its aftermath to have a significant impact on its financial performance.

The Serious Threat of Cybercrime

Although the cybercrime group behind these attacks may be less experienced and younger than established ransomware groups, they pose a serious threat to large companies in the United States. The group's members are skilled social engineers and proficient English speakers, making them highly effective in their operations.

Connections and Disclosure Requirements

Bloomberg previously reported the ransom payments and identified the same group as responsible for both attacks. Security researchers have linked the group, known as UNC3944 or Roasted 0ktapus, to other cyberattacks on companies like Cloudflare, Okta, and Twilio. The delayed filing of the hack and ransom report by Caesars raises questions about the company's disclosure practices. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has pushed for stricter cybersecurity disclosure rules, which will require companies to report cyberattacks and their impact within a specific timeframe. In conclusion, Caesars' payment of millions in ransom to a cybercrime group prior to the MGM hack highlights the increasing threat faced by the gaming industry. The incidents underscore the need for robust cybersecurity measures and prompt disclosure of cyberattacks. As cybercrime continues to evolve, companies must remain vigilant and take proactive steps to protect their systems and sensitive data.

Conclusion: The Implications of High-Profile Cyberattacks for New Businesses

The recent cyberattacks on Caesars and MGM Resorts offer a "hot take" on the potential risks new businesses face in today's digital landscape. These incidents underscore the importance of robust cybersecurity measures and the potential financial and reputational costs of a cyberattack.

Importance of Cybersecurity Measures

The ransom payments made by Caesars highlight the financial implications of cyberattacks. For new businesses, investing in robust cybersecurity measures is not just a preventative step, but a strategic decision that can save significant costs in the long run.

Reputational Risks and Disclosure Practices

The delayed disclosure by Caesars raises questions about transparency and trust. New businesses must understand the importance of prompt disclosure in maintaining public trust and complying with regulatory requirements.
Final Thoughts
In conclusion, the cyberattacks on Caesars and MGM Resorts provide valuable insights for new businesses. They highlight the importance of robust cybersecurity measures, the potential costs of a cyberattack, and the need for transparent disclosure practices. As businesses navigate the digital landscape, these considerations should be at the forefront of their risk management strategies.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/14/caesars-paid-millions-in-ransom-to-cybercrime-group-prior-to-mgm-hack.html
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