Tag Archives: White Lodging

California DMV Investigate Possible Data Breach

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has confirmed that an investigation has started to see whether they have suffered a data breach of its credit card processing services. The DMV has confirmed that none of their internal computer systems have been compromised.

Armando Botello who is a spokesman for the DMV confirmed that an investigation in currently underway after they were made aware that a possible data breach may have occurred.

Botello stated, “The Department of Motor Vehicles has been alerted by law enforcement authorities to a potential security issue within its credit card processing services.”

Botello added, “In its investigation, the department is performing a forensic review of its systems and seeking information regarding any potential breach from both the external vendor that processes the DMV’s credit card transactions and the credit card companies themselves.”

The potential breach has occurred as the DMV allow customers to pay by credit card at self-service terminals and in online transactions for things such as renewal of driver’s licenses and vehicle registration.

So far, no other details have been released about the potential data breach such as how many customers may have been affected and a time frame rom when the data may have been compromised.

Adam Levin who is the chairman and co-founder of Credit.com and Identity Theft 911 has stated that as long as only credit card information was stolen and not personal data, the overall impact is very limited but can be very annoying for those affected.

Levin stated, “It’s not dangerous, it’s just annoying. It’s going to require you to change your credit card number yet again.”

Other organisations have already started similar investigations such as the reported investigation by Sears and by those who suffered a similar data breach such as White Lodging.

Hackers are developing more sophisticated methods of attack to obtain data for financial gains as the rewards become greater. Therefore, it is now vital that companies ensure that they have the best security plan in place and regularly test it to help protect themselves against the ever increasing threat of cyber hackers and cyber thieves.

This should be supported with a robust backup solution to ensure that data can always be recovered no matter what action a hacker or cyber thieves takes such as modifying or deleting the data.

Has Sears Suffered a Data Breach?

Sears Holdings have confirmed that they are currently reviewing their systems to see if they have become the latest victim of a data breach.

So far, it is good news for Sears and their customers as the review has shown no signs that a data breach has occurred but the review is still ongoing.

Howard Riefs who is the director of corporate communications at Sears Holdings has confirmed that they are currently reviewing their systems to determine if they have suffered from a data breach.

Riefs stated, “There have been rumours and reports throughout the retail industry of security incidents at various retailers, and we are actively reviewing our systems to determine if we have been a victim of a breach.”

The retailer which has almost 2,500 stores in the United States and Canada have started the investigation after a series of reported data breaches by other high profile companies such as White Lodging and Target which resulted in debit and credit card information being stolen.

A major flaw in the point of sales systems is what hackers have been successfully exploiting. The flaw meant that unencrypted card details were held in a computer’s memory for a short period of time but long enough for the hackers to be able to obtain all of the information. It was this flaw that the hackers used in the Target data breach which resulted in the malware sending the card details to servers outside of the company.

With the rewards of successfully hacking into a company’s computer network and stealing confidential data becoming greater, the importance of ensuring that there are no weaknesses in your security plan is increasing by the day. This should be tested on a regular basis and set up to guarantee that the latest updates are downloaded and applied.

As part of a successful security plan, a robust backup solution should be utilised. This can help save a company thousands of pounds and limit any potential damage to its reputation. By having a robust backup solution in place, it means that data can be recovered to a required state no matter if it is deleted or modified.

Hackers Successfully Target White Lodging

Hackers have successfully targeted the company White Lodging which has resulted in data belongs to thousands of people being compromised according to independent researcher Brian Krebs. The data breach has exposed customer data such as credit and debit card information.

White Lodging who maintains 168 hotel franchises under nationwide brands that include Hilton, Marriott, Westin and Sheraton have said that they are currently conducting an investigation into how the data was compromised.

Meanwhile Marriott have stated that they will continue to monitor the situation.

Jeff Flaherty who is a spokesman for Marriott explained, “We are working closely with the franchise management company as they investigate the matter. Because the suspected breach did not impact any systems that Marriott owns or controls, we do not have additional information to provide.”

The data breach has been linked back to White Lodging after banking fraud investigators investigated hundreds of fraudulent card activities at specific Marriott hotels. The common link was that the fraudulent card activities were being used at Marriott hotels that are managed by White Lodging. The fraudulent purchases were made in shops and restaurants at the hotels but weren’t used to book a room.

Krebs stated, “But those same sources said they were puzzled by the pattern of fraud, because it was seen only at specific Marriott hotels, including locations in Austin, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Louisville and Tampa. Turns out, the common thread among all of those Marriott locations is that they are managed by White Lodging.”

This is the latest major incident in the U.S. where debit and credit card information has been stolen by hackers in recent months after the retail giant Target was successfully attacked. In this attack alone, up to 110 million customers were affected.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stated, “We are committed to working to find not only the perpetrators of these sorts of data breaches, but also any individuals and groups who exploit that data via credit card fraud.”

It is now vital that all companies ensure that they have the best security plan in place and is regularly tested to help protect themselves against the ever increasing threat of cyber hackers and cyber thieves. This should be supported with a robust backup solution to ensure that data can always be recovered no matter what action a hacker or cyber thieves takes such as modifying or deleting the data.

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