top of page
  • Writer's pictureNth Generation

10.6 Million MGM Hotel Guests Posted on a Hacking Forum

Another security breach! Data and system security incidents occur for a number of reasons. This article discusses the impact of loss of consumer records and ongoing penetration. Understanding the impact of a security breach is vital, but what should you do about it? It sounds obvious, but we can easily get lost in the sensationalism and bypass thinking about Root Cause Analysis (RCA), especially when the security threat is happening to someone else. If those details are not publicly available, then looking at the known scenario details is a wise exercise.

A recent data breach in the cloud, “The MGM data dump contained personal details for 10,683,188 former hotel guests. Included in the leaked files were personal details such as full names, home addresses, phone numbers, emails, and dates of birth...”

Don’t be complacent about the very real threat that can occur at any given time. Not being prepared in advance may add your organization’s name to a growing list of unpredictable cyberattacks that no one wants to be on.

Here are some cyber security steps you can do now to counter this type of threat scenario:

· Create and enforce formal security policies and procedures for hosted or cloud systems and services

· Create Data Management Programs for:

o Data Classification

o Data Inventory

o Data Access Control

o Data Loss Prevention

· Prevent data loss with a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)/Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

· Integrate Managed Security Services which monitor hosted or cloud data for access control

· Hosted or Cloud included DLP controls

· Manage your shadow IT

Read the recent article below posted on ZDNet:

Exclusive: Details of 10.6 million MGM hotel guests posted on a hacking forum

MGM Resorts said security incident took place last summer and notified impacted guests last year.

The personal details of more than 10.6 million users who stayed at MGM Resorts hotels have been published on a hacking forum this week.

Besides details for regular tourists and travelers, included in the leaked files are also personal and contact details for celebrities, tech CEOs, reporters, government officials, and employees at some of the world's largest tech companies.

ZDNet verified the authenticity of the data today, together with a security researcher from Under the Breach, a soon-to-be-launched data breach monitoring service.

A spokesperson for MGM Resorts confirmed the incident via email.

What was exposed

According to our analysis, the MGM data dump that was shared today contains personal details for 10,683,188 former hotel guests. Included in the leaked files are personal details such as full names, home addresses, phone numbers, emails, and dates of birth. ZDNet reached out to past guests and confirmed they stayed at the hotel, along with their timeline, and the accuracy of the data included in the leaked files. We got confirmation from international business travelers, reporters attending tech conferences, CEOs attending business meetings, and government officials traveling to Las Vegas branches.

MGM Resorts says they notified customers last year

Once we verified the data, ZDNet also reached out to MGM Resorts.

Within an hour after we reached out to the company, we were in a conference call with the hotel chain's security team. Within hours, the MGM Resorts team was able to verify the data and track it to a past security incident.

An MGM spokesperson told ZDNet the data that was shared online this week stems from a security incident that took place last year.

"Last summer, we discovered unauthorized access to a cloud server that contained a limited amount of information for certain previous guests of MGM Resorts," MGM told ZDNet.

"We are confident that no financial, payment card or password data was involved in this matter."

The hotel chain said it promptly notified all impacted hotel guests in accordance with applicable state laws.

While we were not able to track down one of these notifications personally, some users appear to have posted online about receiving one in August last year.

Also, MGM Resorts told us it retained two cybersecurity forensics firms to conduct an internal investigation into last year's server exposure.

"At MGM Resorts, we take our responsibility to protect guest data very seriously, and we have strengthened and enhanced the security of our network to prevent this from happening again," the company said.

According to Irina Nesterovsky, Head of Research at threat intel firm KELA, the data of MGM Resorts hotel guests had been shared in some closed-circle hacking forums since at least July, last year. The hacker who released this information is believed to have an association, or be a member of GnosticPlayers, a hacking group that has dumped more than one billion user records throughout 2019…

Catalin Cimpanu. “Exclusive: Details of 10.6 million MGM hotel guests posted on a hacking forum, Originally published February 19, 2020. Accessed 2/28/20

35 views0 comments


bottom of page