Caesars Entertainment Pays Hefty Ransom to Hacker Group
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Caesars Entertainment allegedly shelled out "tens of millions of dollars" to cyber attackers who threatened to disclose company data, as per Bloomberg. The group behind the attack, known as Scattered Spider (or UNC 3944), is adept at leveraging social engineering to breach corporate network defenses. This incident marks the second significant cyber-attack on a Las Vegas casino establishment, following a previous digital disruption at MGM Resorts.
The hackers, some as young as 19, are believed to be based in the US and UK. They reportedly targeted Caesars starting August 27th, initially compromising an external vendor to infiltrate the company's system. It is anticipated that Caesars will soon reveal details of the cyber intrusion in a regulatory disclosure.
Scattered Spider has been operational since May 2022, primarily targeting telecom entities and business outsourcing firms, as cited by Trellix. The group typically masquerades as IT staff, employing social engineering techniques to convince company representatives to run remote monitoring tools. They then exploit detected weaknesses and utilize programs like "Stonestop" to sidestep security measures. Scattered Spider is characterized by Security Week as a group motivated by financial gains.
Interestingly, this group is also suspected in the cyber disturbance at MGM Resorts. However, another cyber gang named ALPHV/BlackCat has also claimed responsibility. ALPHV asserts they used social engineering for their entry, boasting that gaining access required only a ten-minute chat. It's worth noting that MGM purportedly refused to meet the hackers' ransom demands.
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