MGM & Defcon Venue hack: BlackCat Ransomware | Summary and Q&A

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September 29, 2023
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The PC Security Channel
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MGM & Defcon Venue hack: BlackCat Ransomware

TL;DR

Major hotels and casinos experienced a ransomware attack by Black Cat, which utilized social engineering tactics alongside the ransomware. The attacks highlight the vulnerability of even highly secure venues.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How were hotels and casinos targeted in the ransomware attack?

The Black Cat ransomware infiltrated the systems through a combination of malicious software and social engineering tactics deployed by hackers who understood the language and culture of the targeted venues. They gained access with a 10-minute phone call.

Q: Did the damage caused by the ransomware extend beyond the encryption of systems?

Yes, in this case, the internal teams decided to voluntarily shut down the systems to prevent further damage or data theft. This resulted in additional disruptions and financial losses for the hotels and casinos.

Q: What is notable about the ransomware used in the attack?

The ransomware, coded in Rust, had two major variants, targeting both Windows and Linux systems. While detection for the Windows variant was relatively high, the attack highlighted the vulnerability of Linux systems as well.

Q: How did the hotels and casinos respond to the ransomware attack?

MGM and Caesar's Palace were affected by the attack. MGM chose to shut down all of their sync servers, causing significant disruptions for guests. Caesar's breach was attributed to a social engineering attack on their outsourced IT support vendor, emphasizing the risks associated with supply chain vulnerabilities.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Large hotels and casinos were targeted in a ransomware attack by Black Cat, a successor to black matter and dark side ransomware.

  • The attack involved social engineering by hackers familiar with Western culture and languages.

  • The ransomware impacted both Windows and Linux systems, causing significant damage and financial losses.

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