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September 21, 2023

Borgata, other Atlantic City casinos recovering from major ransomware attacks

Cyberattacks last week affected several U.S. establishments owned by MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment. Operations are reportedly mostly back to normal

Entertainment Cyberattacks

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was one of several casinos impacted by a major ransomware attack targeting MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment last week. The company said its operations were mostly back to normal as of Sept. 21.

Borgata in Atlantic City and other casinos nationwide say they're nearly back to business as usual following massive ransomware attacks targeting MGM Resorts International and Ceasars Entertainment. The cyberattacks disrupted operations at several casinos across the country. 

MGM said most of their services are now "operating normally" more than a week after a cyberattack started impacting casinos, according to Fox 5 Las Vegas. Customers are still reportedly having trouble booking hotel rooms online, but otherwise most of the casino giants' operations should be functioning as normal, the companies said. 

The ransomware attacks on MGM and Ceasars took many of the companies' electronic systems offline last week, impacting guests' ability to use credit cards, operate slot machines, book hotel reservations and even use their electronic key cards to enter rooms. The breach forced Borgata to operate as cash-only for several days while it reeled from – and tried to rectify – the effects of the attacks. Phone lines at Borgata also were reportedly disrupted. 

The impact of the breach in Atlantic City was not as dramatic as it was elsewhere, but nonetheless caused significant disruptions. Several prominent casinos were impacted, including the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. In many cases, casino operations have been offline or otherwise disrupted since Sept. 10. 

Other Atlantic City casinos like Caesars, Tropicana and Harrah's – all of which are owned by Caesars Entertainment – were not impacted as significantly as the MGM-owned Borgata. 

A hacker group known as BlackCat claimed responsibility for the MGM cyberattack, according to Forbes, and an affiliate group called Scattered Spider is suspected of carrying out the attack against Caesars. Hackers reportedly completed the attack against MGM by identifying an IT support employee on LinkedIn, then calling the company's IT help desk. Caesars reportedly paid Scattered Spider a $15 million ransom payment to restore operations.

Borgata customers are allowed to cancel reservations without penalty until Sept. 24.