Menominee Casino Resort in Wisconsin Taken Down by Cyberintruders

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A casino outside Kenosha, Wisconsin is still busy assessing the damage after hackers reportedly broke into its system. The Menominee Casino Resort became the latest target of cyberintruders when it was targeted last Thursday, but the property didn’t announce the issue until this past Monday. While the resort doesn’t believe customer data may have been compromised, it is reportedly still assessing the damage. It closed last Friday as a result of the attack and, as of yesterday, expects to be able to reopen tomorrow.

Cyberattacks Take Down Wisconsin Casino

The Menominee was forced to go offline due to “technical difficulties” resulting from an “attempted external attack” on its network, according to a posting on the resort’s website this past Monday. Details are still sketchy, but the property is said to be working with the FBI, cybersecurity experts and others to determine how significant, or insignificant, the damage is. Menominee didn’t explain what may have led to the intrusion or how the cyberattackers were able to gain access. The property’s GM, Daniel Hanson, only stated that an IT employee discovered an issue Thursday night and shut down the computer systems, adding that computer engineers were then brought in, confirming that the property had been hit by cyberintruders.

Hanson explains that the intruders were only in the system for a short amount of time and that there are no indications that anything was taken. However, the hackers were inside long enough for the property to need to completely shut down for a week to go through the software and hardware thoroughly, leading to “substantial” financial loss. If the investigation determines that any customer data was compromised, Hanson explained that those individuals will be contacted.

Cyberattacks Continue Across the US

There have been a number of high-profile cyberattacks already this year, including on the Colonial Pipeline and meat supplier JBS. In those cases, ransoms were paid via cryptocurrency; however, law enforcement has since been able to retrieve most of the payment from at least one of the attacks. The attack on the Menominee is not necessarily related. The other two intrusions were against large companies with deep pockets, but the resort is a small property in a town of fewer than 2,000 inhabitants. That would seem to indicate that the attack isn’t related to the larger ones that took place earlier this year.

However, there may be more than just a tenuous connection. Many hackers work in groups and share information, and a number of independent casinos have been targets over the past couple of years. It’s a great way to test capabilities without raising a lot of suspicion, as many smaller companies won’t report attacks. It would have been a relatively safe assumption that perhaps the casino intrusion came from a disgruntled employee or perhaps some bored teenager looking for a thrill, but a report from NBC 26 News could indicate the attack was more sophisticated, and could be linked to something bigger.

Customer Believes Data Was Compromised

The news outlet reported yesterday, despite the casino being confident that no customer data was compromised, that one patron has had his debit card information stolen in what may, or may not be, related to the attack. Pete Otradovec is a customer of the casino and received a call from his bank, informing him that his card had been used to make two odd purchases. He had just used his card a day before the casino closed to buy gas at a convenience store affiliated with the casino and.

While the purchases and the casino hack may not be related, Otradovec believes they are. He has never had his card compromised, and the two purchases totaled over $400, originating thousands of miles away in Colorado to send money using WorldRemit. Otradovec told the media outlet, “It’s really, really suspicious that that happened at the casino with their cyberattack and then this happens to me this week after using my card there.” The Menominee hasn’t responded to requests for comment.

1 Comment

  • Hugo
    June 16, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    The casino is in Keshena not Kenosha

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