Among the hotel patrons snarled in the fallout of MGM Resorts International’s cyberattack was — unfortunately for the company — one very high-profile figure: Lina Khan, the chair of the US Federal Trade Commission.
(Bloomberg) — Among the hotel patrons snarled in the fallout of MGM Resorts International’s cyberattack was — unfortunately for the company — one very high-profile figure: Lina Khan, the chair of the US Federal Trade Commission.
On Tuesday night, she was among the 45 people waiting to check in at the MGM Grand along the Las Vegas strip as staff worked to manually fulfill everyone’s reservation, according to people familiar with the matter. When Khan and her staff got to the front of the line, an employee at the desk asked them to write down their credit card information on a piece of paper.
As the leader of the federal agency that, among other things, ensures companies protect consumer data wrote down her details, Khan asked the worker: How exactly was MGM managing the data security around this situation? The desk agent shrugged and said he didn’t know, according to a senior aide who was traveling with Khan and described the experience to Bloomberg as surreal.
Khan was among the thousands of MGM hotel patrons inconvenienced in the aftermath of the hack, which was said to be orchestrated by a group of hackers known as Scattered Spider. Days after the incident, many of the company’s websites — including its reservation system — were still displaying error messages, some slot machines at its casinos across the country are still out of service and employees were handling processes manually.
FTC spokesperson Douglas Farrar confirmed on Friday that Khan was in Las Vegas to attend listening sessions on the proposed $24.6 billion merger of the grocery-story giants Kroger Co. and Albertsons Cos. He declined to say whether the agency would investigate MGM’s data security practices.
Read More: Group in Casino Hacks Skilled at Duping Workers for Access (1)
Khan and the senior aide, who booked their reservations through a third-party site because MGM’s systems were down, didn’t receive a receipt, according to the aide. And on the way to their rooms, they bumped into some other guests who shared good news: The digital key cards to their room worked. The bad news, they said: They walked into the room and found strangers were already staying in it.
MGM Resorts didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The company had already previously been the victim of a July 2019 data breach that exposed the personal information of as many as 10.6 million customers.
For what it’s worth: Khan was not the only high-profile figure caught in the fray this week. Comedians Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph posted a video on social media of themselves dancing subtitled, “When you’re in Vegas with your bestie during a cyberhack.”
–With assistance from Tom Giles.
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