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Hacker using dark web to sell MGM Resorts database | #deepweb | #darkweb | #cybersecurity | #informationsecurity

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A hacker is putting the database of MGM Resorts in Las Vegas up for sale on the dark web for just over US$2,900 [AU$4,146] in cryptocurrency.

The hack took place back in the summer of 2019 when a hacker managed to breach one of the MGM hotel’s cloud servers.

Massive data breach

At the time of the initial data breach, MGM did not publicly announce the hack but instead contacted the affected clients privately.

It was thought that the data for 10.6 million clients of MGM Resorts had been stolen, but the actual amount is far, far bigger. The hacker is selling the data for a staggering 142 million guests on the dark web.

The issue was only made known publicly—partly—in February of this after the said 10.6 million MGM clients’ data were made available “as a free download on a hacking forum.”

The hacker is selling the stolen information for either Bitcoin or Monero.

The silver lining is that the stolen data does not include social security numbers, ID, or other financial information. The data does include names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth.

Use of Bitcoin mixers explodes on the dark web

While those hostile to cryptocurrency often say the technology is often used by criminals, such as for money laundering, supporting terrorism, and ransomware attacks, the reality is that the vast majority of crypto transactions are legitimate.

However, the use of cryptocurrency on the dark web is extremely popular. One such area of interest that saw massive growth this year is the use of Bitcoin mixers.

Blockchain analytics firm Bitfury Crystal recently posted an article offering details of an earlier report it had compiled. The report states that the activity of Bitcoin mixers increased by 294% in terms of dollar amount from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020.

The dark web saw a huge increase in the use of Bitcoin mixers in Q1 2020.

The report states, “The amount of bitcoin sent to mixers by darknet entities rose significantly this year — from 790 total bitcoin in Q1 2019 to 7,946 bitcoin in Q1 2020. The same growth was also observed in USD — an increase from $3m in Q1 2019 to $67m in Q1 2020. This indicates a rapid adoption of crypto mixing services by darknet entities.”

The report adds, “From this analysis, it seems that exchanges with verification requirements are becoming less popular as a way to withdraw bitcoin from darknet entities, while mixers are becoming more popular for withdrawing from darknet entities.”

Images courtesy of Omni Matryx, PIRO4D/Pixabay

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