Cybersecurity Attack Causing Hiccups at MGM Northfield Casino

Written By Dan Holmes on September 13, 2023 - Last Updated on September 18, 2023
MGM Northfield Park cyber attack

A cybersecurity threat affecting MGM-owned casinos across the United States has had limited impact on the company’s only Ohio property.

MGM owns MGM Northfield Park in Northfield, Ohio. Unlike most MGM properties, its Ohio location is a racino. In other words, there are only slot machines and horse racing. There are no table games.

PlayOhio contacted the racino to see if the data hack affected operations at MGM Northfield Park. Other MGM casinos have experienced all sorts of issues ranging from broken hotel keys to slot machines going down. Anything connected to a computer system could have issues until the problem is resolved.

Only minor problems at Northfield Park

According to a customer service representative, most of the problems in Northfield Park were minor. The representative said there were “some issues with systems from time to time,” but it is open for business.

As of Wednesday afternoon, their slot machines are operational. On the other hand, ATMs may be impacted. Thus, any possible patron should make sure they have cash on them. Unlike most of MGM’s other casinos, the company’s hotel reservation systems and the on-site restaurants are still operating.

On Monday, news broke on social media that some of its properties were experiencing issues with computer systems. In response, MGM released a statement:

“MGM Resorts recently identified a cybersecurity issue affecting some of the company’s systems. Promptly after detecting the issue, we quickly began an investigation with assistance from leading external cybersecurity experts. We also notified law enforcement and took prompt action to protect our systems and data, including shutting down certain systems. Our investigation is ongoing, and we are working diligently to determine the nature and scope of the matter,” the statement read.

Casinos in Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York have also seen difficulties in the last few days. Some of those venues are not allowing the use of credit cards or accepting hotel reservations.

But MGM Northfield Park, which opened in 2013, has not experienced as many problems, according to reservation and customer service employees who spoke with PlayOhio via the phone on Wednesday afternoon.

Brick-and-mortar operations are fine, but website is down

The website for MGM Northfield is currently showing this message: “The MGM Northfield Park website is currently unavailable.”

The parent company of the casino in Ohio is MGM Resorts International, which has resorts and gaming facilities in several states. MGM also owns BetMGM, its online betting platform.

The BetMGM Ohio online sportsbook is one of 19 operators in the Buckeye State. The cybersecurity issue has not impacted that product in Ohio.

Earlier in 2023, a ransomware attack was launched against several casinos in Ontario owned and operated by Gateway Casinos. That threat was handled quietly and the casinos were back online after about 12 days of disruptions. Also in 2023, three separate incidents, two in Nevada and one allegedly in Michigan, involved persons infiltrating phone systems at casinos and absconding with money from cash cages.

We know who hacked MGM

The attack on MGM Northfield Park is the result of a ransomware attack by a hacker organization that calls itself Scattered Spider. The attack serves as a threat to the systems and data at MGM properties unless the company pays a huge ransom. Bloomberg has reported that weeks ago Caesars paid a ransom in the amount of tens of millions of dollars to the same group.

According to an article in Fortune, the hackers have members located in the US as well as the United Kingdom. The group, which is also known by the names Roasted 0ktapus and UNC3944, has previously targeted its attacks on Microsoft and other organizations.

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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a contributor for PlayOhio with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He also has extensive experience covering the launch of sports betting in other states, including Ohio and Maryland, and the sports betting props — Prop 26 and Prop 27 — in California. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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