The Palms Las Vegas casino website has been down for a while. The company has since resolved the issue, but it looked like a malware attack.
Loading the company's website on your browser led to redirection to a malware message warning user. The message warned users that continuing to click through would put visitors' computers in harm. The casino's information technology department started investigations to identify and correct the issue.
Anyone who visits the page is redirected to a previous page or asked to try another search. Palms officials recognized the issue and commented that they were reviewing the issue.
According to a Palms spokesperson, the company is working around the clock to identify the problem. He also noted that the brand was engaging experts outside the company to investigate the cause and restore the website. The website was still down on October 20 in the morning.
Malware Disruptions Across Casinos
Gambling companies have become prime targets for ransomware from hackers. Whether tribal or commercial gambling sites, casinos have been hit by online criminals or malicious programs.
Google labeled the Palms website attack with a Malware Warning. This is a program designed to intentionally disrupt a network, server, client, or computer. The software can also access private information without authorization.
Palms has not said whether the latest attack led to the loss or leakage of confidential data. However, malware attacks have previously disrupted operations at other casinos.
In June last year, six casinos in Oklahoma had to close following ransomware attacks. The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma own and operate six casinos through the Lucky Star Casino brand.
Commenting about the issue, Cybercrime expert Teresa Rule said casinos were prime targets for hackers because they have money. Usually, a casino is willing to part away with money to keep players' data private and get their systems back to continue operating.
The FBI was involved, warning Native American tribes operating casinos to look out for malware attacks. Usually, a ransomware attack involves a data breach. Some programs block casino officials from accessing their digital properties, forcing them to pay to gain access.
Palms is owned and operated by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The tribe is one of the richest gaming tribes. It has invested in cybersecurity to curb malware and ransomware attacks.
Advanced Tech Giants Are Not Immune to Cyberattacks
Glenn Wilson is the chief information security officer of the San Manuel Tribe. He is a software engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity and data protection.
Speaking at a TribalNet Conference in 2022, Wilson noted that even the prominent tech giants were not immune to cyberattacks. For example, last year, Google paid $8.7 million to cybercriminals following a disruption in its Chrome, Play, and Android platform systems.
Wilson also shared several ways that casinos can use to employ the best cybersecurity protocols. He mentioned considering a brand's value, people that would want to steal the company's value, and how to protect a company's data from attacks.
The cybersecurity expert advised casinos to avoid assuming one cybersecurity protocol was enough. He advised officials to upgrade their systems and safeguard protocols continually.