Crown Resorts says ransomware group claims accessing some of its files

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Australian casino giant Crown Resorts Ltd adorns the hotel and casino complex in Melbourne, Australia, June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed

(Reuters) -Crown Resorts said on Monday a ransomware group had contacted the company, claiming that they had gained access to some files related to Australia's biggest casino operator following a data breach at a file transfer service GoAnywhere.

"We were recently contacted by a ransomware group who claimed they have illegally obtained a limited number of Crown files," a spokesperson of the formerly listed firm said in a statement.

"We can confirm no customer data has been compromised and our business operations have not been impacted," the spokesperson said, adding that the company is investigating the validity of the ransomware group's claims.

Suspicious activity at GoAnywhere was identified by U.S. cybersecurity firm Fortra nearly two months ago, and has impacted many organisations including mining giant Rio Tinto.

Crown has faced intense scrutiny in recent years since damaging inquiries found it enabled money laundering, while COVID-19 lockdowns battered its profit and shares.

In the fallout from state regulatory inquiries into Crown, all of which found it unfit for a gambling licence, the company was bought out in a $6.3 billion deal by U.S. private equity giant Blackstone Inc last June.

Crown's announcement comes hot on the heels of several other high profile cybersecurity breaches in the country in the recent past, including the latest at consumer finance firm Latitude Group, where hackers stole nearly 8 million Australian and New Zealand drivers licence numbers.

(Reporting by Savyata Mishra and Himanshi Akhand in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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