FBI Cyber Crime Division Warns Tribal Casinos About Ongoing Threats

Posted on: November 6, 2021, 05:54h. 

Last updated on: November 6, 2021, 05:54h.

The FBI Cyber Crime Division says casinos owned by Native Americans should remain on high alert for ransomware attacks.

FBI Cyber Crime tribal casinos
FBI Director Christopher Wray says cybercrime is only intensifying in frequency. Tribal casinos, the federal intelligence and security agency says, are at high risk of a criminal online attack. (Image: Getty)

Numerous counts of cyber attacks on tribal casino resorts have been reported in recent years, but there’s been an uptick of such crime, federal officials explain. In an industry notification distributed to tribal casino properties last week, the FBI says cyber gangs find such businesses attractive to penetrate due to an array of perceived security shortcomings.

Bleeping Computer, an information security and technology media outlet that first reported on the FBI intelligence, explains that since the tribal casinos are located on sovereign land, their IT infrastructure networks are at greater risk of attack.

Limited cyber investigative capabilities and law enforcement resources are likely some of the reasons behind ransomware groups seeing US tribes as desirable targets,” wrote Sergui Gatlan for Bleeping Computer.

The FBI Cyber Crime Division adds that while many tribal casinos are IT savvy with world-class computer networks and gaming systems, many others remain limited to basic internet security safeguards.

Bounties Growing

In mid-September of 2020, the Cache Creek Casino Resort in Northern California confirmed it was forced to shutter its gaming and resort operations due to a cyber attack. The tribal casino complex initially told guests that it was closing due to a “systems infrastructure failure.” The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, owners of the resort, later revealed that internet criminals were behind the IT intrusion. The attack kept the casino closed for three weeks.

This year, a cyber attack in Oklahoma resulted in all six Lucky Star Casinos shuttering operations. Tribal officials said they were working with the FBI to resolve the matter…