MGM Cyberattack: How to Protect Your Information
Recently, a massive data breach was reported at the world-renowned MGM Resorts. The personal details of millions of guests who had previously stayed at the MGM properties were exposed on a hacking forum. In this article, we will explore the types of information that were leaked, the technologies that were hacked, and how you can protect your personal information from such cyberattacks in the future.
An Overview of the MGM Cyberattack
In the world of cybersecurity, few events have garnered as much attention and concern as the MGM Cyberattack. This intrusion, which targeted the renowned MGM Resorts, sent shockwaves through the digital landscape, affecting millions of individuals who had entrusted their personal information to this iconic hospitality brand. In the following comprehensive overview, we will dissect the intricacies of this cyberattack, shedding light on the scale of the breach, and the methods employed by the perpetrators.
In a shocking revelation, the personal details of over 10.6 million guests who stayed at MGM Resorts were posted on a hacking forum. The incident, which MGM Resorts described as unauthorized access to a cloud server, took place last summer. The exposed data includes personal details such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth. MGM Resorts has notified all affected guests and stated that they are working closely with law enforcement agencies.
What Information was Leaked?
The leaked data relating to the MGM cyberattack can broadly be put into two categories. The first category includes personal contact details such as full names, residential addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and dates of birth. The second category relates to reservation details including room preferences, check-in, check-out dates, and information about services availed at the MGM properties. Interestingly, no financial details like credit card or bank account details were leaked, but the exposed data is more than enough to conduct identity theft or targeted phishing attacks.
→ Dig Deeper: What to Do If You’re Caught Up in a Data Breach
One pivotal aspect that demands our attention is the realm of technologies that fell victim to this audacious breach. Among the digital assets infiltrated were the resort’s formidable database and the seemingly secure cloud server that housed a treasure trove of guest information.
The cybercriminals targeted a cloud server that MGM Resorts used to store the personal details of their guests. The resort’s database was compromised, and the information was extracted and subsequently published on a hacking forum. The specifics of how the database was breached are not public, but the cybercriminals may have exploited a vulnerability in the software or used phishing techniques to gain access to the credentials of the database administrators.
→ Dig Deeper: Why Traditional Database Security Doesn’t Protect Data
The Cloud Server
MGM Resorts used a cloud server to store its guests’ data. In theory, the cloud server adds an additional layer of security, as the data is not stored on physical devices but rather on a network of remote servers. However, the security of the cloud server is only as strong as its weakest link, and in this case, the cybercriminals were able to breach it, resulting in a massive data leak.
McAfee Pro Tip: The foundation of cloud security typically rests upon the user rather than the cloud infrastructure itself. If your devices are aged, obsolete, underutilized, or lack adequate security measures, you could be the weakest link. Make sure your devices and software are up-to-date! Know more about the importance of software updates here.
Protecting Your Information Against Cyberattacks
Whether you’re an everyday internet user, a small business owner, or part of a large corporation, the principles of cybersecurity are paramount in today’s interconnected world. You should be equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to fortify your digital defenses.
The Urgency of Protection
In the digital world, where data breaches are becoming more and more common, it has become exceedingly important to take measures to protect your personal information. Even though MGM claims that no financial information was leaked, the details that were exposed, such as your name, address, and date of birth, are enough for cybercriminals to commit identity fraud.
→ Dig Deeper: A Guide to Identity Theft Statistics for 2023
McAfee Identity Theft Protection
One of the most effective ways to protect your personal information from being misused is to use a service like McAfee Identity Theft Protection. By installing and activating this service, you can prevent your identity and finances from being targeted in a data breach, such as the one that occurred at MGM Resorts. Once activated, McAfee Identity Theft Protection continuously monitors online sites and databases for your personal information, alerting you of any potential misuse or breaches.
How Does McAfee Identity Theft Protection Work?
As we navigate the intricate network of online transactions, social interactions, and data sharing, the risk of identity theft looms ever larger. In this landscape of digital vulnerabilities, solutions like McAfee Identity Theft emerge as formidable guardians of our virtual identities.
McAfee Identity Theft Protection works by continuously scanning the internet, including dark websites, for any traces of misused or stolen personal information. The service utilizes advanced detection technology to track misuse of personal data and provides instant alerts if any suspicious activity is detected. This includes tracking credit and debit cards, social security numbers, and bank accounts, ensuring that your data is not compromised.
Additionally, the service also monitors non-credit-based transactions such as payday loans and court records, to provide a comprehensive cover. With the growing prevalence of data breaches, having a proactive shield like McAfee can greatly reduce the risk of falling victim to identity theft.
Recovery and Assistance
Not only does McAfee Identity Theft Protection alert you about potential threats, but it also offers recovery services if your identity is stolen. With the help of experienced fraud resolution agents, they guide you through the process of reclaiming your identity. The service also includes insurance coverage for losses up to $1 million, including reimbursement for legal fees, lost wages, and other expenses related to identity restoration.
The importance of having a recovery plan cannot be overstated. In the unfortunate event of your information being compromised, having a team of professionals to navigate the complex legal and financial processes can be a lifesaver.
Cybersecurity Best Practices
In an interconnected world, where the digital landscape constantly evolves, knowledge is the key to security. Explore the best practices that can empower you, your organization, and your community to protect against cyberattacks.
Strong and Unique Passwords
Creating strong and unique passwords for each of your online accounts is the first step toward securing your digital identity. Avoid common words or phrases and incorporate a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters to make your password more secure. Regularly updating your passwords and using a secure password manager can ensure that your information remains secure.
Moreover, some services, including email accounts and banking websites, offer two-factor authentication. This is an additional layer of security where, in addition to your password, a second form of verification is required to access your account. This second form could be a unique code sent to your mobile device, or a fingerprint or facial recognition on supported devices.
Safe Online Behavior
Be cautious of the information you share online on social media platforms or through emails. Attackers often use publicly available information to guess your security questions or to trick you into revealing sensitive information. Avoid clicking on suspicious links or opening emails from unknown senders, as these might be phishing attempts trying to steal your information.
Regularly updating your devices and applications can also protect you from cyberattacks. These updates often contain security fixes for known vulnerabilities that hackers might exploit. Installing reliable antivirus software and regularly scanning your devices can help detect and remove malicious software.
→ Dig Deeper: How To Do A Virus Scan
The MGM cyberattack serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of cybersecurity and the need to protect our personal information. While MGM has undertaken necessary measures to rectify the issue, as users, it is imperative that we too take steps to secure our digital footprint. By utilizing services like McAfee Identity Theft Protection and adhering to cybersecurity best practices, we can significantly reduce our risk of falling victim to cyberattacks. Remember – the time to protect yourself is now.