Palms Las Vegas website targeted by malware, casino investigating

Posted on: October 19, 2022, 01:12h.

Last update: October 19, 2022, 2:02 a.m.

The Palms Las Vegas website is currently unavailable. The casino’s Information Technology (IT) department is investigating the cause.

Palms Las Vegas malware cyberattack ransomware
The Palms Las Vegas website went offline for more than 24 hours after being hit with malware. The off-strip casino is owned and operated by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in California. (Picture: Palms Las Vegas)

A visit to www.palms.com currently redirects to a malicious message warning visitors that clicking on the website may harm the user’s computer.

“Warning, visiting this website may damage your computer! the landing page warns.

The website suggests visitors to return to the previous page or try another search. Attached for comments by the Las Vegas Review-JournalPalms officials said the situation is being reviewed.

We are aware of the disruptions to the Palms Casino website and are working as quickly as possible to determine the cause,” a Palms spokesperson said yesterday. “We have engaged external experts to help us investigate the cause and restore availability to all users as soon as possible.”

The Palms Las Vegas website remained unavailable as of 1:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 19.

Malware Interrupts

Casinos have become prime targets for hackers and ransomware in recent years. Commercial and tribal gaming businesses have been hit by online criminal groups.

The Palms situation is apparently a malware attack. Google labels the Palms website with a “malware warning”.

Malware is software that is intentionally designed to disrupt a computer, server, client, or network. Malware also usually involves unauthorized access to private information and data. Palms did not say whether the problem with its website resulted in erroneous access to confidential data.

Last year, the FBI warned Native American tribes that operate casinos to be on the lookout for ransomware attacks. A ransomware attack typically involves data breaches and blocking a company’s access to its digital properties until a ransom is paid.

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians of California, one of the wealthiest gambling tribes in the country, acquired the Palms last year from Red Rock Resorts and Station Casinos for $650 million. The tribe’s flagship property is Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel in Highland, California.

Tribe invests in cybersecurity

The San Manuel Tribe has its own Information Security Officer. The position is held by Glenn Wilson, a former software engineer who has worked in cybersecurity and data protection for more than 20 years.

At last month’s TribalNet 2022 conference at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, Wilson emphasized the importance for tribal casinos to ensure the protection of their digital assets. He also discussed the ease with which hackers can gain access to supposedly protected documents.

When you hear someone say, ‘We’ve been the victim of a very sophisticated cyberattack,’ it really means some jerk clicked on an email they shouldn’t have had,” Wilson said. about common phishing emails.

Wilson recommends that casinos and any other business define three critical points when it comes to their cybersecurity protocols:

  • What do I have of value?
  • Who wants to steal it?
  • How should I protect it?

Wilson also says companies shouldn’t take a “one and done” approach to cybersecurity, but rather continually update and improve their online protections. But even the most advanced tech giants aren’t completely immune to cyberattacks.

Google has admitted to paying cybercriminals an $8.7 million bounty last year after its Android, Chrome and Play platforms and systems were disrupted.

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