Hyatt Hotels Suffers Another Card Breach

Hyatt Hotels Suffers International Payment Card Data Breach

"We understand that such unauthorized access to card data was caused by an insertion of malicious software code from a third party onto certain hotel IT systems", Chuck Floyd, global president of operations, said in a statement. It was also attributed to malware on hotel IT systems created to capture payment card data.

At the time, the firm had also claimed to have "taken steps to strengthen the security of its systems, and customers can feel confident using payment cards at Hyatt hotels worldwide".

"I want to assure you that there is no indication that information beyond that gained from payment cards - cardholder name, card number, expiration date and internal verification code - was involved, and as a result of implemented measures created to prevent this from happening in the future, guests can feel confident using payment cards at Hyatt hotels worldwide".

Floyd said that Hyatt's enhanced cybersecurity measures and additional layers of defense implemented over time had helped to identify and resolve the issue, but obiviously not before customer payment card data was impacted. Only five of the Hyatt properties affected in this most recent breach included USA locations, including three resorts in Hawaii and one each in Guam and Puerto Rico. And the company itself admits that "the available information and data does not allow Hyatt to identify each specific payment card that may have been affected".

The payment card breach affected 18 Hyatt properties in China, making it the most widely infected target.

In January a year ago Hyatt announced that 250 hotel locations in 50 countries were affected by a payment card breach that occurred between August and December 2015.

But Hyatt is not the only hotel chain to be hit by malware.

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In total, 41 hotels are affected, nearly half of which are in China.

Hotel guests are advised to closely review their credit card statements regularly and report any unauthorized activity to their bank as soon as anything is noticed.

ZDNet contacted Hyatt Hotels for additional comment, but had not received a response as of the time of publication.

In October 2015 the Trump Hotel Collection confirmed a breach of its payment systems.

While Hyatt's breach notification suggests that its in-house security team discovered the most recent POS breach, according to FireEye's Mandiant, 47 percent of all breached organizations learn about the intrusion thanks to an external source.

The Chicago-based company said that since it can not "identify each specific payment card that may have been affected", the company may not be able to notify all the guests.

Verizon's study includes an analysis of 175 point-of-sale breaches and found that about two-thirds involved attackers using stolen credentials to remotely access a POS environment and install malware. About half of all POS breaches seen previous year also included keylogger functionality, although Verizon says most of these attacks involved a single strain of malware that included both memory-scraping as well as keylogging capabilities.

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