Casinos are now reaching out to Congress for help in keeping cyber security safe.
In a letter sent to Senate Leaders Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid, the American Gaming Association (AGA) urged the passage of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA), which would protect gaming facilities from cyber attacks by encouraging businesses to share information about threats they know about while ensuring privacy is upheld.
Several groups such as American Hotel Lodging Association; American Resort Development Association; Building Owners and Managers Association International; International Council of Shopping Centers; NAIOP, the Commercial Building Development Association; National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts; National Apartment Association; National Multifamily Housing Council; and the Real Estate Roundtable have also signed the letter.
Multiple casinos have been hit by cyber attacks in the couple of years. In February 2014, Iranian hackers shut down Las Vegas Sands’ website, wiping hard drives clean and stealing some customers’ social security and driver’s license numbers in the process.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas sent letters to an undisclosed number of consumers on May 1, 2015, informing them that credit card and debit card transactions from September 3rd, 2014 to April 2nd, 2015 from has been hacked at restaurants, bars and retail locations at the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas property including the Culinary Dropout Restaurant.
And the most recent is last month when four Atlantic City online casino gaming sites targeted by a hacker who promised more disruption unless a ransom was paid in Bitcoin.
“The commercial facilities sector has a central role in the nation’s economy and, as such, remains vulnerable to cyber attacks.” wrote AGA. “The sector includes retail centers, hotels, casinos, theme parks, studios, office and apartment buildings, convention centers, sports stadiums, and other sites where large numbers of people live, congregate to pursue business activities, conduct personal commercial transactions, and enjoy recreational pastimes.”
AGA also said that CISA will improve the casino industry’s capacity to guard their respective companies and customers against cyber attacks.