Recent attacks highlight need for better cybersecurity

Former Arizona Homeland Security head explains
Recent high-profile cyber attacks have affected a big casino in Las Vegas and cleaning supply company Clorox.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 11:45 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — When you go to the store, you may notice some Clorox products are in short supply. The company says its manufacturing operations are still not up to speed following a cybersecurity attack that was detected last month.

Last week, a cyber attack hit MGM Resorts — slot machines went down, as well as the company’s computers and phone lines. Ceasar’s Entertainment was also hit by the attack. The company said attackers got some customer data, including driver’s licenses and social security numbers.

“It’s a huge deal. This is modern terrorism at its worst,” said Tim Roemer, a cyber security expert at GMI and the former head of homeland security for the state of Arizona. “Cyber security is not just a digital problem. It’s not just a virtual problem. There are really real physical consequences to these attacks.”

Data, money, and the supply chain are all at risk, and according to Roemer, criminals often get what they want by exploiting weak links in companies. “More than likely, the cyber attack that took down MGM is a vishing attack — that’s ‘voice phishing,’” Roemer said. “A criminal uses social engineering to find out information about someone online. They start placing phone calls. Over the phone, they start imitating employees of an IT dept in order to gain trust and access to passwords and accounts. Once you’re in, that’s when you can own your target.”

To protect against vishing attacks, don’t give out information about yourself or your employer online or over the phone. If someone calls and asks for information or passwords, hang up and verify the source of the call.

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