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Cyberattack leaves MGM Resorts scrambling as many casino machines go blank, room keys malfunction

Screenshot of @ImMeme0 X video

A widespread cyberattack has caused significant disruptions to many operations at MGM Resorts International, including inoperable casino machines and malfunctioning room keys in Las Vegas.

MGM owns some of the most recognizable hotels and casinos across the country, especially in Las Vegas, where it operates the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, and of course the MGM Grand, among others. Now, a recent cybersecurity breach has wreaked havoc at many of those properties.

According to reports, the breach manifested earlier this week, and videos of silent casino machines with blank screens quickly went viral on social media.

On Monday, the company released a statement admitting that it had experienced a "cybersecurity issue" and that it had been in touch with law enforcement and "leading external cybersecurity experts" to help resolve it.

The company also claimed in the statement that it had taken "prompt action to protect [its] systems and data, including shutting down certain systems," so it is unclear whether the inoperable machines were the result of the attack or of the mitigation efforts implemented in response to it.

In addition to the problems with the machines, some customers complained of problems with their digital room keys. One woman even claimed that she entered the wrong room as a result of the malfunction. The company compensated her by offering her a complimentary stay, she told the BBC. Others reported that they had been issued old-fashioned keys instead.

"Our resorts including dining, entertainment and gaming are still operational," MGM said in another statement. "Our guests continue to be able to access their hotel rooms and our Front Desk is ready to assist our guests as needed."

As of Thursday afternoon, the company's website also remains effectively shut down, limiting customers' ability to make reservations, check into their hotel rooms, or even log into their MGM accounts. "The MGM Resorts website is currently unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience," a message on the website read in part.

This latest attack is also the second significant cyberattack to hit MGM in recent memory. Almost four years ago, a cyberattack on MGM gave hackers access to the personal information — including names, addresses, and passport numbers — of up to 10 million MGM patrons.

A mostly defunct website, unusable gambling machines, and the PR stain of yet another major cyberattack seem to have already taken their toll on MGM Resorts' bottom line. In a report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, MGM stated that this latest incident may have a "material effect" on its operations. Its stock value has also already dropped 6%, Sky News reported.

The FBI has not commented on the status of its investigation into the MGM breach, but some sources are reporting that a group of hackers known as Scattered Spider is behind it. Scattered Spider has allegedly struck Caesars Entertainment in the past as well.

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