Las Vegas had an unwelcome visitor in the form of a cyberattack that struck early in the morning of January 7 that caused some service interruptions that have since been resolved.
On the same day that the massive International CES event kicked off, city officials reported what they called a “cyber compromise” taking place at about 4:30 a.m. No further details have been given on what type of incident took place, but as of January 8 the city tweeted it had avoided a major problem and all systems were up and running.
“When aware of the attempt, we immediately took steps to protect our data systems. We will have a clearer picture of the extent of the compromise over the next 24 hours,” the city said immediately after the attack was made public.
The only obvious impact was some brief service disruptions and Las Vegas officials do not believe any information was compromised.
As for whether or not the attackers knowingly took advantage of CES to launch their attack or if it was just a coincidence Mimecast’s Director of Enterprise Security, Matthew Gardiner is leaning towards the latter.
“Given that there are literally thousands of these types of attacks and breaches going on a daily basis, I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that it was in any way connected to a local tradeshow taking place in the city of Las Vegas – big tradeshows are a daily occurrence in Las Vegas, as well. However, you are correct generally to observe that cybercriminals often use news worthy events, local happenings, and time sensitive requests to prompt trust and engagement with their phishing emails. But, I haven’t seen any reporting that connects it to CES. But anything is possible,” Gardiner said.