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Golden Entertainment Confirms Cybersecurity Incident; Thoroughly Investigates Using Computer Forensics

Computer Forensics, also popularly referred to as cyber forensics, is a highly specialized technique in the modern context of information security management. It can be used to track down a variety of cybersecurity incidents, such as industrial espionage, intellectual property theft, malware streaming, and so on. While there have been numerous case studies available regarding the role of cyber forensics in the current industrial scenario, the latest incident involving Golden Entertainment is worth attention.

What happened with Golden Entertainment?

Golden Entertainment is a very popular online gaming company. The company officially notified individuals of a cyber security incident that may affect the privacy of some personal information as part of its commitment to privacy. While Golden has no evidence of actual or attempted misuse of information as a result of this incident, this notice provides details about the incident, Golden’s response, and resources available to help protect information.

In late January, Golden discovered that certain portions of its network were infected with malware. Golden promptly took steps to secure the network and, with the assistance of computer forensic specialists, conducted an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the event, including any risk to data.

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The investigation confirmed that an unauthorized actor gained access to a portion of the network and encrypted network files around January 24, 2021. The investigation also determined the unauthorized actor acquired certain documents before the encryption occurred. Given that network locations were accessed without authorization, Golden undertook a lengthy and time-intensive thorough review of the potentially impacted information in order to identify the information that was potentially impacted and to whom it related.

This review was completed on or around August 25, 2021, at which time Golden confirmed the individuals whose information was present. Golden then worked to reconcile the results of the review with internal records in furtherance of identifying the individuals to whom the data related and the appropriate contact information for those individuals in order to provide notification to potentially impacted individuals as quickly as possible.

What Information Was Involved?

While the impacted information varied by individual, the investigation determined that the information affected included individual name, date of birth, Social Security number, driver’s license or state identification number, financial account information, debit or credit numbers, and medical treatment or diagnosis information. Please note, Golden does not have any evidence of misuse of any information impacted as a result of this incident.

What Golden is Doing to Safeguard Data?

Golden takes this incident and the security of personal information very seriously. Upon discovering the activity, Golden conducted a comprehensive investigation of the event to confirm its nature and scope. Further, Golden has security measures in place to protect the data on its systems and continues to assess and update security measures and training to employees to safeguard the privacy and security of information in its care. Golden also notified law enforcement of this event and notified regulatory authorities, as required by law.

On September 24, 2021, Golden Entertainment began mailing written notices to potentially impacted individuals. Golden Entertainment also posted notice of this incident on its website.

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As an added precaution, Golden is offering impacted individuals access to credit monitoring and identity theft protection services through Kroll at no cost as an added precaution.

Golden encourages individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing account statements and monitoring free credit reports for suspicious activity and reporting any such activity to law enforcement. Individuals can also enroll to receive the complimentary credit monitoring services offered within the letter. Please also review the information contained in the below Other Steps to Protect Personal Information.

Other Steps to Protect Personal Information

Under U.S. law, a consumer is entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. To order a free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. Individuals may also directly contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below to request a free copy of their credit report.

Consumers have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on a credit file at no cost.  An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is placed on a consumer’s credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer’s credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer’s identity before extending new credit. If individuals are a victim of identity theft, individuals are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years.  Should consumers wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below.

As an alternative to a fraud alert, consumers have the right to place a “credit freeze” on a credit report, which will prohibit a credit bureau from releasing information in the credit report without the consumer’s express authorization. The credit freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in an individual’s name without his or her consent. However, consumers should be aware that using a credit freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in their credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application individuals make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit.

Pursuant to federal law, individuals cannot be charged to place or lift a credit freeze on his or her credit report. To request a security freeze, individuals will need to provide the following information:

Full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);

  1. Social Security number;
  2. Date of birth;
  3. Addresses for the prior two to five years;
  4. Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
  5. A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, etc.); and
  6. A copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft if you are a victim of identity theft.

Should an individual wish to place a credit freeze, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below:

Equifax Experian TransUnion
https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/ https://www.experian.com/help/ https://www.transunion.com/credit-help
888-298-0045 1-888-397-3742 833-395-6938
Equifax Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 105069 Atlanta, GA 30348-5069 Experian Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013 TransUnion Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016
Equifax Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348-5788 Experian Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013 TransUnion Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094

Individuals can further educate themselves regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, credit freezes, and the steps you can take to protect your personal information by contacting the consumer reporting bureaus, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General. 

Source: Golden

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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