This past week saw both Caesars and MGM hacked. Each company responded in very different ways, but several questions remain unanswered. Most importantly, should players be worried that their private data is now in the hands of criminals?
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, as Las Vegas was hit by two cyber attacks over the past week, compromising the data of millions of players, and damn near shutting down the city. With both Caesars and MGM hacked, it was their responses to the situation that really was A Tale of Two Cities.
First up, Caesars decided to pay the ransom that the hackers wanted… $15 to $30 million, depending on who you ask. The result is that their computers are still working and their systems are still online and taking reservations. With MGM hacked, it was a different response. They felt that that the best way to handle these hackers is to curl throw up into a ball. They refuse to pay any ransom and, as a result most of their systems are still down and offline… from slot machines to room reservations.
Caesars put together a dedicated incident response team, and they’ve provided the phone number ( 888 652-1580 ) so that you can call and speak with someone about this incident and your personal data. MGM has not offered a customer helpline… at least not yet. They did provide a number ( 646-961-3731 ) so that if you have any information that could help them catch the hackers, well, they’d love to hear from you.
Caesars is offering free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to anyone who’s been affected by this… and if you call that helpline someone will be there with details and to help you set it up. MGM has made no such offer. At least, not that we could find before we filmed this show. So, as we wait for MGM to get off their ass and do something is there anything that we can be doing as players to help protect ourselves?
Sadly, it’s mostly just the obvious, like watching for any notices regarding your data, or any actions you may need to take after watching Caesars and MGM hacked. Keep an eye on your credit report and bank accounts for any unusual activity. And don’t be afraid to take advantage of the free help being offered by Caesars. So my question for all of you is this: Who do you think handled the situation better? Caesars or MGM? If you think Caesar’s made a mistake by paying these hackers their ransom, consider this: Some industry experts now believe that MGM is losing as much as $8 million dollars a day by having their systems down!
And finally this week, putting aside the news that Caesars and MGM hacked, Mr Las Vegas, Wayne Newton, is 81 years young and still going strong! In fact, he just added over 60 new shows to his Las Vegas residency that will take him all the way into June of next year! Newton has been performing in Las Vegas since 1959, but he’s been singing a lot longer than that! He was there for the first ever Bellagio fountain show, and when Bugsy Siegel opened Flamingo! Beyond Vegas, he’s performed at the inauguration of President Lincoln… entertained our troops at Valley Forge… and was instrumental in the discovery of electricity! And, if I might add… the man never ages!