Lucky Star: Six Oklahoma casinos hit by ransomware

Mike Seals - June 22, 2021 12:01 am

CONCHO, Okla. (KFOR) – Lucky Star officials say they have contacted the FBI to investigate as multiple Oklahoma casinos get hit with a cyber-crime attack.

The lights are down at the Lucky Star Casino in Concho, one of six tribal casinos in western Oklahoma to be hacked.

“The money is there and that’s why they are a prime target,” said Teresa Rule, cyber crime expert.

Lucky Star Casino officials issued a statement Monday, saying in part…

“Lucky Star Casino has unfortunately joined the growing list of government agencies, businesses, and other casinos to be hit by a ransomware attack.”

But casino officials have not said what the hackers are demanding.

Experts say since almost all the games in casinos are now computerized in some way or another, hackers use ransomware holds the casino main frame hostage.

“They are big bullies – ‘if you will give me this much money, then I’ll give you control of your systems back,’” said Rule.

Rule says sometimes casinos pay the ransom to get back to business, but she says that just feeds the system.

Not always, but sometimes personal information can be compromised.

Lucky Star apologized to customers, saying they don’t know if any personal information was impacted.

Their official statement went on to say…

“We apologize to our customers and partners and emphasize the need to be extra vigilant, particularly regarding suspect communications. Our insurance company is providing credit monitoring services for 12 months”

Computer experts do have advice for customers to stay cyber-safe when they go to a casino.

“Use a prepaid credit card to buy your players card, that’s one thing. Don’t use your regular day-to-day debit card or credit card because that won’t be kept safe,” said Rule.

With locations in Watonga, Clinton, Canton and Concho closed and no firm reopen date set by casino, casino officials tell KFOR all employees will continue to be paid.

The FBI says they cannot comment at this time.

Casino officials tell News 4 that affected employees and customers will be sent a letter with the next steps to take.

Read Lucky Star’s full statement below:

Lucky Star Casino has unfortunately joined the growing list of government agencies, businesses, and other casinos to be hit by a ransomware attack. The security and confidentiality of all data are a top priority for us. Therefore, we immediately notified federal law enforcement including the FBI. We assessed the situation based on guidance from our insurance provider and cyber security experts.
We implemented measures to counter the attack by suspending all operations and activating our IT professionals and external forensic cyber investigators to resolve the situation. We apologize to our customers and partners and emphasize the need to be extra vigilant, particularly regarding suspect communications. Our insurance company is providing credit monitoring services for 12 months. As the investigation continues, Lucky Star Casino commits to communicating directly to impacted customers and employees with whom we appreciate their patience as we work through this situation so that operations can resume in the coming days

 

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