From the latest revealed information of Inter Continental Hotels Group (IHG), about 1,200 hotels they operate in America got involved in data breach and placed the information of their guests vulnerable to hacking.
The hotels are now becoming victims of cyber attack, particularly their payment cards.
According from the latest news reports online, InterContinental Hotels Group confirmed that about 1,200 of their hotels operating in the United States got involved in data breach and this figure is more than what the group announced previously.
The investigation identified signs of the operation of malware designed to access payment card data from cards used onsite at front desks at certain IHG-branded franchise hotel locations between September 29, 2016 and December 29, 2016, InterContinental Hotel Group revealed in their statement as quoted by the news.
Some of the most popular hotels involved in the breach include Crown Plaza, Holiday Inn, InterContinental, Hyatt Hotels, Starwood Hotels, Hilton and Hotel Indigo, among others. Based on the record, it runs over 5,000 hotels worldwide in 100 nations.
The company did not disclose on how many stolen payment cards in the cyber attack. Moreover, Neil Hirsch declined to reveal if the insurance of the group cover the losses or the possible financial drawback that the hotels may experience because of the compromised information.
Hirsch is the spokesperson of the InterContinental Hotels Group.
The news reports added that the company discovered the data breach after the guests reported illegal or fraud charges of their payment cards. The malware successfully searched the stored information on magnetic stripes and the data include the names, internal verification codes, card numbers and expiration dates, the IHG stated.
The magnetic stripe is routed through the server of the hotel affected by the breach.
Hackers usually love to target hotel operators because they can easily perform data breach as opposed to other types of businesses. They do not have the capacity to protect themselves against identity thieves and hackers when it comes to their stored credit card numbers, according to Itay Glick.
Glick added that, “They don’t have massive data centers like banks which have very secure systems to protect themselves.”
Itay Glick is the Chief Executive of Votiro, which is a cyber-security company based in Israel.
Although the malware did not reveal any kind of activity since December 29, it was not removed from the cash registers until last month only, the news added.
IHG however said that no other information from their guests affected by the breach.
The company few months ago revealed that it had been a victim of serious cyber attack. On the other hand, only 12 of its managed properties in the US got affected by the malware. They have almost 286 properties.
The attack against IHG lasted for almost three months and so they needed to consider the best solutions to make sure the hotel guests will not experience more problems later on. Cyber attacks had been prevalent these days, which include those happening through different social media networking websites.