Las Vegas casino attacks tied to hackers known for sweet-talking tactics

230915 mgm grand al 0834 2b8c08

The hackers who are believed to be behind a major cyberattack that has disrupted several casinos and hotels in Las Vegas are part of a small but prolific cybercrime clique whose members have also hit other major U.S. companies in the past year by talking their way into access to computer networks, cybersecurity experts and a person familiar with the hacks said.

They are known in many cybersecurity circles in part because of a rare trait — they appear to be native English speakers, something that differentiates them from the many cybercrime groups that are made up of Russians and Eastern Europeans.

MGM Resorts, which runs many of the most popular casinos and hotels in Las Vegas including the Bellagio, Aria and Mandalay Bay, is still scrambling to recover after hackers significantly disrupted its operations earlier this week, leading to shutdowns on casino floors and hotel guests unable to use key cards to enter their rooms. 

MGM employees were still unable to access their corporate emails as of Friday morning, a worker who was not authorized to speak for the company told NBC News. On Friday afternoon, MGM announced that while some systems were still affected by the attack, “the vast majority of our property offerings currently remain operational.”