Menominee Casino Resort Joins American Companies That May Face Ransomware Epidemic in 2021

Menominee Casino Resort

Menominee Casino Resort experienced a shattering cyber attack on Friday. The casino has remained closed as of June 15, 2021, with the management working around the clock to solve the ransomware attack.

According to a Facebook post by the General Manager of the casino Daniel Hanson, casino officials are working with FBI forensic specialists to assess the attack’s impact. The manager believes the attack was on the casino’s external computer systems.

Hanson also believes that the casino’s secure information is not compromised. However, he confirmed that a team would notify clients in writing when they discover that the casino’s guest information is compromised.

At the time of this publication, the Wisconsin-based executives have not confirmed whether they were asked to pay a ransom. The manager noted to The Post Crescent that he believed the attackers intended to close the casino. Daniel confirmed the casino would get a substantial financial hit.

The Tribal Legislature Chairman, Gunnar Peters, confirmed to NBC 26 that the attack was beyond significant. For this reason, they had to close.

Former Cisco CEO John Chambers Confirms There Will Be More Ransom Attacks

On Monday, the retired Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers talked with Yahoo! Finance. John told the brand that ransom cyberattacks were increasing. He also confirmed that there could be about 100,000 cyberattacks on American companies in 2021, stating that it would cost at least $170,000 to cipher each.

Menominee’s attack comes amid other well-known attacks. One of the breaches that captured the headlines is the attack on the Colonial Pipeline oil network. The hackers used a breached password to access the system.
It is believed that the attackers were based in Russia. Colonial pipeline paid over $4.3 million to get their system back.

Yet, it is not news that gambling facilities are prime to cyber attacks. Online sectors are even more prime to ransomware as they are easy to knock them offline using the distributed denial of service (DDoS). This is especially common when a website has high traffic, such as betting on a major event or poker tournament.

As for brick-and-mortar casinos, attacks happen for hackers to access valuable information. Casinos hold sensitive information, including financial data, for their clients.

Tribal casinos are even more prone to attacks compared to facilities owned by individuals and the government. For example, three tribal casinos had to close in October 2020, following cyberattacks. Cache Creek Resort in California had to close for three weeks to resolve the issue.

The Biggest Cyberattack on Brick-and-Mortar Casino

In 2014, the biggest known cyberattack happened to Las Vegas Sands Corp. Contrary to most attacks where hackers ask for monetary compensation, the attack on Las Vegas Sands Corp was political.

It is believed that the Iranian administration, through a hacking group known as Ashiyane, carried out the attack. It was reported that the attack was political and personal against the deceased Sheldon Adelson, who was the CEO and chairman of the casino at the time.

Sheldon was a Republican and a megadonor of the political group. He was against Obama’s opinion to negotiate with Iran about its nuclear system. Several weeks before the negotiations, Sheldon vocally said the U.S. should attack the Iranian land with an atomic bomb.

On Feb 10, 2014, computers and servers at Las Vegas Sands Corp flatlined. The malware was installed onto the casino’s system, wiping off hard drives and everything it came across. The breach occurred for 48 hours, leading to a loss of around $40 million in damages.


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