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Cyber security convention draws hackers

Posted at 7:47 PM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 22:47:37-04

The Black Hat convention brings together security professionals, and most of them are looking to stop people from committing cyber crimes. However, the convention also brings hundreds of hackers, looking to learn those security measures, so they can counter them.  

According to Mandalay Bay, some of the potential hackers test the security of nearby networks, putting their newfound knowledge to the test. That means, the security of people nearby could be at risk.  

Some resorts and casinos are taking action to keep their employees and their guests safe.  

13 Action News learned that employees of Mandalay Bay, where the convention is being held, were asked to turn off their WiFi and Bluetooth this week.  

In a written statement, officials with MGM Resorts tell us they have staffed around the clock digital support teams.  

"This week, Mandalay Bay is hosting a national conference of Information Security professionals.  A small number of these experts will sometimes test the security of their host's digital environment.  We are confident in the security of our digital environment, but to ensure the integrity of our systems, we've taken a number of steps to protect our guests during this time.  We've reminded employees to exercise vigilance and protect portals that might be used to penetrate our systems.  We've also staffed a 24/7 digital watch center where security experts are monitoring for unauthorized use, access, or signals.  We are confident these steps will maintain a safe digital environment for our guests, as they have in previous years."

--Gordon Absher, Vice President Corporate Communications, MGM Resorts International

Security professionals at the convention agree, turning off certain features can help keep you safe. 

"I would recommend that if you have Bluetooth or WiFi, turn everything off right now," says one attendant, Chuck Hare.