Hotel Chains Targeted By Hackers

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If you’ve stayed at a Holiday, Marriott or Renaissance hotel between March 20th and December 13th of 2013 you might want to keep an even more vigilant eye on your credit and debit card bills.

White Lodging Services, a hotel management company that runs each of these chains, announced today that it suspects point-of-sale machines in restaurants and lodges of 14 properties the company manages may have been targeted by hackers. The theft would leave the hackers with a wealth of information up to and including PIN numbers for the cards used.

The company said that those that used their cards for the booking of rooms were not affected.

Who is White Lodging Services?

The Indiana-based company has contracts with the aforementioned hotels and is a wholly separate entity than the chains it operates. The company operates over 165 properties in 21 states. The company also announced today that it had contacted federal law enforcement about the potential breech.

“We deeply regret and apologize for any inconvenience caused by this incident and remain committed to protecting all information entrusted to us by our guests,” it later said.

RAM scrapers

Hackers are increasingly attacking retailers with devices known as a “RAM scrapers” which are installed on POS systems, sometimes with the complicity of employees. The scrapers allow for the harvesting of data on non-encrypted cards when the customer swipes his or her card. Recently, Target, Neiman Marcus and Michaels have all been targeted by the same methods, prompting the attention of Congress.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to hear from executives from Target and Neiman Marcus on Wednesday along with the Secret Service to discuss the prevention of these attacks.

White Lodging listed the 14 affected facilities in the states of Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas, Indiana, Virginia, Kentucky, Florida and Colorado. It includes seven Marriotts, two Holiday Inns and two Renaissance hotels, plus one Sheraton, one Westin and one Radisson hotel.

The company also warned that its Radisson Star Plaza front desk POS may also have been compromised.

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at theflask@gmail.com

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