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.