A cybersecurity issue at MGM Resorts has shut down computer systems at multiple properties, the company said in a statement on Monday.
MGM Resorts recently identified a cybersecurity issue affecting some of the Company’s systems. Promptly after detecting the issue, we quickly began an investigation with assistance from leading external cybersecurity experts. We also notified law enforcement and took prompt action to protect our systems and data, including shutting down certain systems.
Our investigation is ongoing, and we are working diligently to determine the nature and scope of the matter.
The exact nature of the issue is not clear. However, casinos are popular targets for cybercriminals because they hold ample cash reserves and rely on networks to coordinate almost all areas of their business.
A ransomware attack caused the prolonged shutdown of Canada’s Gateway Casinos earlier this year. Two Fremont Street casinos in Las Vegas suffered a similar attack in 2020.
Cause, Extent of Outage Remains Unconfirmed
As yet, MGM Resorts has not confirmed the systems affected or how widespread the outage is.
However, attempting to visit any of the company’s US websites returns some version of this message:
The [MGM US property] website is currently unavailable. For immediate assistance, please call 877.632.7700. Thank you for your patience.
In contrast, the website for MGM Macau in China is still operational.
Additionally, a thread on Twitter.com (aka X) indicates a variety of systems, including box office ticketing and MGM rewards, are all currently down.
One poster, claiming to be at Borgata in Atlantic City, references a total system shutdown:
Currently in the Borgata in NJ. All computer systems are down. Slots will not accept tickets, and anyone trying to cash out is getting the Handpay message regardless of amount.
That apparently includes MGM’s internal email servers. Bonus received the company’s statement regarding the incident from a representative’s Gmail account.
Brian Ahern, the company’s executive director of communications, delivered the statement with the following note:
Good morning – This is Brian Ahern from MGM Resorts. Due to the system outage referenced below, we do not have access to company email at this time, so I am sending from a separate email account. The statement below from the company is also being shared on the MGM Resorts social media accounts. Please see below and attached
Presumably, whatever happened has impacted internal business systems, too.
MGM Resorts’ US properties include MGM Grand and Park MGM (Las Vegas), MGM Grand Detroit (Michigan), MGM Springfield (Massachusetts), and Beau Rivage (Mississippi).
FBI Confirms Involvement
On Tuesday morning, the FBI confirmed it was investigating the incident.
Special Agent Mark Neria of the bureau’s Las Vegas field office told the Las Vegas Review-Journal it was intervening at MGM’s request.
“MGM has requested assistance, and we are providing it.”
Neria declined to comment further, citing the ongoing investigation.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.