Northern California Casino Cache Creek Confirms Closure Due to Cyber Attack

Posted on: October 1, 2020, 02:58h. 

Last updated on: October 2, 2020, 07:53h.

The Cache Creek Casino Resort in Northern California has been the victim of a cyber attack.

California casino cyber attack Cache Creek
The Cache Creek Casino computer network in California has been compromised by cybercriminals. (Image: Cache Creek Casino Resort/

Owned and operated by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, the Native American casino shut down on September 20. At the time, it cited a “systems infrastructure failure” as the reason. This week, the property informed guests that it was the target of an external computer attack.

“We are working closely with independent experts who regularly investigate incidents of this type to determine any risks to data security. Attacks like these are significant and can take weeks to research thoroughly,” an update on the casino’s website explains.

If it is determined the personal information of guests or employees was exposed, we will notify affected individuals in writing. To further reassure our community, we repeat our commitment to continued full pay and benefits for our employees during this time, whether they have been asked to report for their regular shifts or not,” the notice added.

Located in Capay Valley some 30 miles northwest of Sacramento, Cache Creek offers 2,300 slot machines and 120 table games, plus a 14-table poker room. The resort has a 200-room hotel, nine restaurants, and a golf course.

Cache Cleaned

In computer terminology, a cache is a hardware or software component that stores data so that future requests for that data are served faster for the computer user.

Cybercriminals utilize various forms of malicious code and software to infiltrate computer networks and systems. With US casinos hosting millions of guests each year and facilitating the transfers of tens of billions of dollars, the private data of gaming floors and resorts is seen as a gold mine for cybercriminals.

In 2013, Las Vegas Sands’ computer network was the victim of a cyber attack. Customer data, including credit cards, Social Security numbers, and driver’s licenses were compromised.

More recently, MGM Resorts was attacked in 2019 by a dark web criminal unit. Personal data of more than 10.6 million guests was stolen. But the casino giant said credit card information and passwords were not obtained.

Golden Entertainment, which owns the Las Vegas Strip’s Strat and eight other Nevada casinos, plus one in Maryland, announced last year that private information regarding its employees was compromised in an online attack.

FBI Involved

The Sacramento Bee says federal authorities are assisting the Cache Creek Casino in determining who was behind the cyberattack, and what information was potentially stolen. The FBI is reportedly investigating if the attack’s goal is to hold the tribe hostage until a ransom payment is made.

Cache Creek is remaining closed until the casino is able to “fortify our infrastructure.”

“Unfortunately, and as reported in the news, these computer attacks are becoming increasingly frequent, with major banks, a large healthcare company, and a well-known Las Vegas casino becoming recent targets,” the casino’s statement concluded.