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Hackers who breached casino giants MGM, Caesars also hit 3 other firms, Okta says

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Hackers who breached casino giants MGM, Caesars also hit 3 other firms, Okta says

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. According to a security professional familiar with the situation, hackers who recently compromised the systems of casino powerhouses MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment also hacked into the systems of three other businesses in the industrial, retail, and technology sectors.

Five of the business’s clients, including MGM and Caesars, have been attacked by hacker organizations known as ALPHV and Scattered Spider since August, according to David Bradbury, chief security officer of identity management company Okta.

While not naming the other businesses, Bradbury told Reuters that Okta was helping with the investigations into the intrusions.

The cyberattacks have brought ransomware attacks—cyber invasions that harm hundreds of businesses annually, from healthcare providers to telecom companies—new attention. Last week’s stock price decline resulted in a loss of market value for MGM and Caesars, and MGM has yet to recoup from different operating disruptions at the hotels and gambling establishments it controls from Las Vegas to Macau.

Okta, a San Francisco-based company that claims to have more than 17,000 clients worldwide, offers identity services including multi-factor authentication that enable users to safely access online programs and websites. The business sent a notice last month after discovering many breaches at its clients, according to Bradbury.

We believed we should come forward to the industry at large and explain what’s going on because everything transpired in such a short amount of time, he added.

At the time, Okta stated that its American clients were reporting a recurring pattern of assaults in which hackers pretended to be employees of the target company and persuaded its IT helpdesk to grant them duplicate access.

“We’ve seen a consistent uptick in these types of attacks over the past six to 12 months,” Bradbury added.

MGM has not responded to the statement or the incident, other than to declare last week that it was addressing a “cybersecurity issue.” Caesars previously stated that it was looking into the issue.

In a message on its website on Friday, the financially motivated hacking organization ALPHV claimed responsibility for the MGM intrusion and threatened MGM with more assaults if it didn’t reach a compromise. How much of a ransom ALPHV has asked for is unknown.

According to Bradbury, the gang broke into MGM and gained access to the company’s Okta client, which gave them additional access to more login credentials in the identity management company’s system.

According to studies by security professionals who have followed both organizations, Scattered Spider appears to have collaborated with ALPHV on the most recent intrusions, Bradbury claimed. Consider them more like business partners or affiliates, he said.

Scattered Spider, also known as UNC3944, was identified last week by Google’s Mandiant Intelligence as one of the most disruptive hacker groups operating in the US. Bradbury asserted that Okta’s observations of the most recent hacks were consistent with Mandiant’s assessment of the group’s techniques.

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Black Professionals Demand ‘Formal Apology’ and Refund After Being Booted from a Florida Restaurant So Another Party Could be Seated

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Leon Gantt and Stephanie Tolbert told Roland Martin that they were humiliated when they were asked to leave DoveCote restaurant over the weekend. (RolandMartinUnfiltered/YouTube screenshot)

A group of Black professionals reportedly was booted from an Orlando, Florida, restaurant for not being done with their time at the table when another party reportedly needed seating.

During an interview on “Roland Martin Unfiltered,” guests Leon Gantt and Stephanie Tolbert spoke about their Saturday night experience at DoveCote restaurant in the downtown area.

Leon Gantt and Stephanie Tolbert told Roland Martin that they were humiliated when they were asked to leave DoveCote restaurant over the weekend. (RolandMartinUnfiltered/YouTube screenshot)

Tolbert said she booked the group’s reservation through OpenTable to see live entertainment. She noted that they were not informed by the restaurant or staff that there was a time limit for the table. They were about an hour and a half into their experience when they reportedly were told to leave.

In the video obtained by the show, the group is speaking to officers and explaining that they did nothing wrong. The police advised them to document the incident and reach out to management.

“The police were very cordial. They were very nice,” Gantt told Roland. “They even said to us that we will walk out first so that it doesn’t seem like we are escorting you out. However, because this is a private organization, we had to leave.”

In another video posted on X, formerly Twitter, Gantt’s wife Heather posted the moment she walked out of the restaurant. She wrote that the event coordinator told them another party had to be seated.

“You don’t want to stay here. They just kicked us out because we stayed too long. They called the cops on us,” she could be heard saying to another couple.

The video shows Heather walking outside to a group of police officers.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.

“It was just very humiliating,” Tolbert said. “ When we walked out to wait for the valet for the car, there was another family that had been approached by the event coordinator and told that they needed to leave as well. This wasn’t something that was just isolated to us. There were some other Black families that were impacted.”

Gantt said they are reaching out to attorneys to assist them with the matter.

“The end result is, I would like a formal apology, number one,” he said. “ I would like our money returned.”

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Ex-Wall St. trader Vivian Tu says ‘nepo babies’ will often beat you to the top — but you can levy this one skill to climb the ladder faster

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Ex-Wall St. trader Vivian Tu says 'nepo babies' will often beat you to the top — but you can levy this one skill to climb the ladder faster

Beyond the likes of entertainment darlings like Kendall Kardashian, Hailey Bieber and Dan Levy, “nepo babies” exist in the everyday American workplace as well — and they can sometimes impede your pathway to success.

“In many cases, it’s undeserved,” says personal finance influencer and self-made millionaire Vivian Tu, who’s a former Wall Street trader and goes by Your Rich BFF on social media where she has amassed an audience of millions.

The term “nepo babies” typically refers to children of celebrities benefiting from their familial connections to succeed in their careers, but nepotistic hires often abound at the average American workplace as well.

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“Somebody who worked their tail off and grinds it up from the bottom of the ladder gets passed up for a promotion — just because the owner of the company’s great nephew happened to graduate from college around the same time and needed a job,” she told Moneywise in a recent interview.

You may have the experience and the hard skills on your resume, but Tu believes it’s more about “who you know versus what you know.”

If you didn’t win the “genetic lottery”, here’s how you can still work your way up in the workplace.

Nepotism in the workplace

Nepotism at work can mean someone who’s closely related to a person in power gets favored for a job or a promotion — even when there’s another individual in the running who deserves it more.

And it’s far more common than you think it is. Matthew Staiger, a scientist at Opportunity Insights (a research institute at Harvard University), analyzed U.S. census data and discovered that nearly one-third of Americans will work at the same firm as their parent before turning 30.

Staiger also found that these young adults earn nearly 20% more than they otherwise would — and white men from high-income households benefit from nepotism significantly more than low-income folks, women and minorities do.

And this isn’t limited to, say, Silicon Valley tech companies or the finance industry. It’s a widespread practice across industries and in small and large firms alike.

“There’s a set of kids out there who, absent help from their parents, would end up really struggling to find a decent-paying job, and they’d end up at something like a fast-food restaurant,” Staiger told Harvard Magazine in June.

“But with the help of their parents, they end up at a construction firm or a manufacturing firm, a blue-collar-type job that often pay[s] much better than the minimum-wage-type jobs in the unskilled service sector.”

With U.S. job openings sinking to their lowest level in over two years and the number of resignations on the decline as of July, the labor market is cooling down.

It’s possible that Americans may need to prepare for fewer employment opportunities in the coming months — some of which could go to workers with closer connections.

Should nepo babies get the advantage?

Staiger’s research shows nepotistic hires may stay at companies longer — increasing retention rates — but they aren’t always better at their jobs.

This is a problem for both the companies (which aren’t gaining the best workers) and potential employees who are more qualified for the role.

Tu believes nepo babies can get put into a role at their parent’s place of work — but they should be held to the same standards as anyone else if they’re underperforming at their jobs.

“I don’t think they should get to stick around and coast, just because they got lucky with the genetic lottery.”

Read more: Thanks to Jeff Bezos, you can now use $100 to cash in on prime real estate — without the headache of being a landlord. Here’s how

And Tu says it’s important for these individuals to be open and aware of their privilege, and recognize they have more resources accessible to them than the average person.

“You might have worked really, really hard — but other 23-year-olds who are working really, really hard don’t have your job,” says Tu. “You got that job because daddy owns a company.”

There’s a soft skill that can help you slide to the top

Social capital — or forging connections through networking — can help with job referrals, access to more employment opportunities and overall career mobility.

But at your place of work, developing a better relationship with your managers or boss can be key to moving ahead.

Tu says “the smartest employees are not the ones that get paid the most” — it’s the ones “who schmooze.”

“I hate to say it, but [it’s] the person who has that relationship with their boss, the person that’s always going to the work happy hour, the person that’s putting in the legwork to build those relationships.”

The problem, she says, is that charisma isn’t necessarily easy to pick up and learn (especially if you’re not a super extroverted person) compared to more technical skills, like job-specific skills, and having more work experience.

Research suggests there’s a gender bias when it comes to schmoozing as well. A 2019 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research pointed to evidence of “the old boys’ club” at work.

Men advanced further in their companies after being assigned to work under managers who were men. They were more likely to share work breaks with their managers and gain knowledge of their preferences — and their pay ended up being 13% higher after two-and-a-half years, compared to men assigned to managers who were women.

On the other side of the spectrum, the manager’s gender had no effect on the careers of women employees.

That said, the researchers and Tu advise all employees — regardless of gender — to engage with their managers as much as possible to foster a better working relationship.

“If you are shy, you’ll have to make an effort,” says Harvard Business School assistant professor Zoe B. Cullen, who co-authored the paper.

“If you are a woman, you might have to try even harder.”

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

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Hollywood writers react to ‘tentative agreement’ to end strike

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Hollywood writers react to ‘tentative agreement’ to end strike

Writers in the US are praising a “tentative” deal that has been reached with Hollywood studio bosses which could mark the end of a strike that has lasted many months.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced the deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the group which represents studios, streaming services and producers in negotiations, after 146 days on the picket line.

More than 11,000 WGA members have been on strike since May 2 over issues including pay and the threat of artificial intelligence (AI), however the terms of the new contract must be approved by the guild’s board and members before the strike officially ends.

On Monday, US comedian, writer and TV presenter Adam Conover, who wrote and starred in The G Word on Netflix, tweeted: “We did it. We have a tentative deal.

“Over the coming days, we’ll discuss and vote on it, together, as a democratic union. But today, I want to thank every single WGA member, and every fellow worker who stood with us in solidarity. You made this possible.”

US comedian, writer and chat show host Larry Wilmore reacted to the news on Twitter writing: “Finally!!!”

Alex Zaragoza, a writer on Amazon Freevee series Primo, said she reacted to the news by “crying, screaming, throwing up, (and) crying again”.

She tweeted: “This strike has been so hard. Necessary and invigorating, and really f****** hard. But we did it! We fought together.

“Thank you thank you thank you to all of our strike captains who have held us down at every picket these last 146 days. Kept us hydrated, informed, sunblocked, safe from cars, and feeling encouraged. Love y’all!!”

Writer Caroline Renard of Disney’s Secrets Of Sulphur Springs, was also among those celebrating the agreement news.

She tweeted: “We got a deal. That was the hardest I’ve worked in forever. Captain signing off!”

Announcing the deal, days before the strike was set to become the longest in the union’s history, the WGA said: “What we have won in this contract – most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2 – is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days.

“It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal.”

As a result of the agreement, shows such as The Drew Barrymore Show could return to the air within days.

However, talks have not yet resumed between studios and striking actors who are part of Sag-Aftra (the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists).

The union, which represents around 160,000 members of the industry, has been on strike since July 14, causing a major stalling of multiple Hollywood productions.

It tweeted: “To our fellow union siblings who serve on the WGA Negotiating Committee, we extend our heartfelt congratulations on securing a tentative agreement with the AMPTP.

“We applaud your dedication and unwavering solidarity over the last five months and are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with you as creative partners in the entertainment industry.”

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