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

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


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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Key Insights

  • ๐Ÿ‘Š The Black Cat ransomware attack targeted prominent hotels and casinos, demonstrating the need for robust cybersecurity measures in all industries.
  • ๐Ÿ‘Š Social engineering attacks, alongside traditional ransomware tactics, present a significant challenge for cybersecurity defenses.
  • ๐Ÿ‘Š Linux systems are not immune to ransomware attacks, highlighting the importance of securing all types of operating systems.
  • ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ผ Voluntary shutdowns of systems can result in additional financial losses for businesses, showing the complexity of balancing security and operational impact.
  • ๐Ÿ˜ฅ Outsourced IT support vendors can be an entry point for cyberattacks, emphasizing the importance of thorough risk assessments and supply chain security.
  • ๐Ÿงก Cybersecurity incidents can have wide-ranging impacts, affecting not only individual businesses but also the reputation of entire industries.
  • ๐Ÿ‘ป The ransomware attack took place at venues that host prominent cybersecurity conferences, underscoring the pervasive nature of cyber threats.


so last week some of largest hotels and casinos in the world were taken over by ransomware and shut down for once they weren't the ones who were robbing people watching all these casinos and slot machines with blue screens of death all over them take that Windows XP now the ransomware that was deployed is called Black Cat and it's kind of a success... Read More

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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