Caesars Entertainment Breach Update, Millions of Gambler Records Compromised
Table of Contents
- By Steven
- Nov 30, 2023
Caesars Entertainment (CE) oversees 58 gaming properties across the continental states. Their locations include world destinations, nightlife activities, a comprehensive concierge, and an industry-leading approach to draw millions of gamblers weekly. Those who gamble with a Caesars location often enough eventually consider a membership. CE’s loyalty program boasts more than 65 million members worldwide.
How Did the Attack Occur?
CE has returned with an update on the event—a lot has been made public. CE filed a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September. Officials had discovered suspicious activity within their network environment and took action to stop the attack. The SEC form explains the unauthorized party gained access to the network after a social engineering plot on an IT support vendor.
The event did not cause disruptions to any CE gambling options but presumably had a significant influence within the network. CE’s incident is a ransomware event with a $15 million demand. The incident is similar to the September disruptions that shook MGM’s systems. Based on what is known, CE has paid the ransom—but the safe return of member data remains uncertain.
What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?
According to the Substitute Notice posted on CE’s website, a long list of data may have been taken; the stolen data includes names, dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, driver’s licenses, and government-issued ID numbers. There are no indications that the threat actors gained customer financial credentials or payment data. The stolen data belongs to members of the CE loyalty program. It is unclear if their 65 million person database was entirely or only partially exposed in the event.
How Did Caesars Entertainment Admit to the Breach?
The Attorney General’s office of Maine published a data breach filing in October, indicating the timeline of events. According to the filing, the breach began around August 18th and lasted until the 23rd, 2023. Officials claim to have found the intruder (or their ransomware) weeks later, around September 7th. CE responded to the threat and began sending notices (October 6th) to those expected to have data loss. Presumably, a significant investigation has finished. An updated filing has appeared on the Texas Attorney General’s website—complete with a massive impact figure.
What Will Become of the Stolen Information?
As of this writing (late November), at least 3,381,410 gamblers may face consequences from the CE breach—but this is a partial number. Regarding data breaches, the Texan Attorney General’s website primarily concerns events that impact Texans. As a result, the information published in their filings is a partial figure. Until the incident appears on the Maine or the US DHS websites, total impact numbers are uncertain. It also remains unclear if the bad actors will release or misuse the stolen data in the future, despite CE paying half of the requested ransom demand.
What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?
The most current notices about the incident indicate that all members of the CE loyalty program could be at risk. Further, although CE purportedly paid half the ransom, there is no way to guarantee that the attackers will secure the member data; it’s still possible that the bad actors use the data to generate more profits—even years later. Consequently, all loyalty members must take protective action to defend their information from misuse. Those with information at risk in this breach must implement preventative services.