Six Casinos in Oklahoma Subject to Ransomware Attack

The term ransomware is used to describe a type of malware that encrypts files. In a ransomware attack, the victim’s files are encrypted, and the attacker demands a ransom in order to restore the files. When it comes to casinos, the property type is a prime candidate for a ransomware attack. A casino has a ton of customer data, from email and credit card information to addresses and cell phone numbers. Casino venues are often chosen for a ransomware attack due to the information they obtain as well as the potential to pay a pretty penny to get the info back.

Just recently, the Lucky Star Casino brand in Oklahoma was subjected to a large ransomware attack. The Arapaho and Cheyenne Tribes operate six casinos under the brand, and they were all victims of the attack. Measures were taken to counteract the attempt, including shutting down the casinos.

Ransomware Attack

The brand announced the attack on Facebook, telling customers that they were closed as the incident was being investigated. The casino operator quickly contacted the FBI as well as other federal law enforcement groups to begin investigating what happened. The company says they assessed the situation based on help from cybersecurity experts and their insurance provider.

Measures were put into place to counter the attack, which included activating the IT team and forensic cyber investigators. Lucky Star Casino apologized to customers and partners, explaining that everyone needs to be super vigilant especially towards suspicious communications.

The insurance company of the casino is offering credit monitoring for 12 months due to the attack. As the investigation continues, the company plans to continue to communicate with customers and employees who were directly impacted by the incident.

The incident was first reported on June 18 by Lucky Star. Employees will receive pay despite the closure and the casinos hope to be back in business soon. The FBI is investigating and is unable to comment at this time.

Staying Vigilant

This type of attack is one reason why casinos need to continue to stay on top of recent technological advances in computer software in order to keep personal data safe. With quality systems in place, hackers have a harder time getting in and completing a ransomware attack.

Casinos often make upgrades on a regular basis to ensure that the personal information of employees and customers remains secure. Even with strict measures in place, hackers can get in. This is why the public needs to be aware of such incidents and continual monitoring of personal information such as credit score and credit cards are essential.

You can easily use programs to monitor your personal information or simply keep a check on your accounts. When you use a debit or credit card at a venue such as a casino, it does put you at risk. Just as it would using the card at a Walmart or Target.

By staying on top of your credit history and bank statements, you can catch any suspicious activity early and protect yourself from major damage. This latest incident is just a reminder as to how businesses are still vulnerable and consumers can be affected.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.