Hackers shut down MGM Resorts with a 10-minute phone call.

Hackers shut down MGM Resorts with a 10-minute phone call.

The MGM Resorts Cyber Outage: A Tale of Social Engineering and Ransomware


You may have heard about the recent cyber outage that affected MGM Resorts, causing slot machines at their casinos on the Las Vegas strip to shut down. Well, it turns out that the ALPHV/BlackCat ransomware group is claiming responsibility for this incident. According to a post on the malware archive vx-underground, the group used social engineering tactics to gain access to MGM Resorts’ systems and attempted to extort a ransom from the company.

The ALPHV ransomware group is renowned in the cybersecurity community for their skill in social engineering for initial access. In this case, they simply hopped onto LinkedIn, identified a MGM Resorts employee, and made a call to the Help Desk. Shockingly, they were able to gather enough information within just 10 minutes to gain entry into the company’s systems. Now, you might be wondering why MGM Resorts didn’t comply with their demands and pay the ransom. Well, the company has reportedly refused to do so, which is rather admirable.

It’s worth noting that the details of ALPHV’s attack on MGM Resorts have not been independently verified by security researchers. However, if their claims are indeed true, it highlights the importance of cybersecurity awareness and robust defenses within organizations. In an era where cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, companies must remain diligent in protecting their digital assets.

Interestingly, this is not the first time that the ALPHV ransomware group has targeted a major corporation. They have been known to go after huge corporate targets by using ransomware ploys to extort money. In fact, earlier this year, both ALPHV and another threat actor called Clop listed beauty giant Estée Lauder on their data leak sites. It seems that no organization is safe from the reach of these cybercriminals.

As for MGM Resorts, the company is still experiencing downtime and website disruptions. While they have not responded to requests for comment, they did release a statement on Tuesday indicating that their resorts, including dining, entertainment, and gaming, are operational. This incident serves as a reminder that even well-established and reputable businesses can fall victim to cyberattacks, and it’s crucial for all companies to remain vigilant in their cybersecurity measures.

In conclusion, the MGM Resorts cyber outage sheds light on the increasing threat of social engineering tactics and ransomware attacks. The ALPHV/BlackCat ransomware group’s ability to gain access to MGM Resorts’ systems within minutes through social engineering is both shocking and concerning. It emphasizes the need for organizations to prioritize cybersecurity and implement robust defense mechanisms. As technology advances, so does the sophistication of cybercriminals, making it imperative for companies to stay one step ahead in protecting their digital assets.