The notorious hacker group known as Scattered Spider and Octo Tempest made headlines after launching devastating attacks on major casinos such as Caesars and BetMGM. Despite the FBI identifying some members of the group, they remain active and have not been arrested, leaving industry experts puzzled as the gambling industry struggles to adjust to this new threat.
Since 2021, the Scattered Spider group has targeted high-profile US companies, with the MGM breach resulting in an estimated $100 million in damages and Caesars reportedly paying around $15 million in ransom to regain system access. These attacks have caused significant disruptions and damaged the operators’ public image.
American cybersecurity firms such as CrowdStrike, Alphabet’s Mandiant, ZeroFox, and Microsoft have been working tirelessly to respond to the breaches, collecting evidence on the hackers’ identities and assisting law enforcement. ZeroFox CEO James Foster pointed out that the FBI’s limited qualified manpower has led to the lack of decisive action.
While the FBI and the Department of Justice have been investigating the gaming company hacks for over a year, they have declined to comment on the larger group or the current status of the investigation. The loose structure of the Scattered Spider group, operating in Western countries and communicating via messaging apps like Telegram and Discord, has complicated investigations.
The group’s aggressive tactics, such as threats of violence and ransom demands, have targeted roughly 230 organizations across various industries. Some victims have been hesitant to cooperate with authorities, further complicating investigations. The gambling sector has been a prime target due to its outdated systems and staff lacking the necessary training to avoid security breaches.
Law enforcement officials continue to grapple with these challenges as they aim to dismantle the cybercrime group and bring its members to justice. Meanwhile, the gambling sector is focusing on improved personnel training to halt social engineering attacks. However, Scattered Spider’s continued attacks leave many operators at risk.