Hyatt Hotels suffered a new payment card breach, the second in two years

Pierluigi Paganini October 13, 2017

The Hyatt Hotels Corporation notified customers that their credit card information may have been stolen by crooks, the second time in 2 years.

The Hyatt Hotels Corporation made the headlines once again, the company notified customers that their credit card information may have been stolen by crooks.

The data breach affects three hotels in the United States, 18 in China, four in Mexico, three in Puerto Rico, three in Saudi Arabia, three in South Korea, and facilities in Brazil, Colombia, Guam, India, Indonesia, Japan, and Malaysia.

“We understand the importance of protecting customer information and securing our systems, and we regret to inform you that we discovered signs of and then resolved unauthorized access to payment card information from cards manually entered or swiped at the front desk of certain Hyatt-managed locations between March 18, 2017 and July 2, 2017. A list of affected hotels and respective at-risk dates is available here.” states the breach notification.

Hyatt Hotels card breach

According to Hyatt, crooks planted a malware on payment systems at certain hotels to harvest credit card data from guests that physically entered or swiped at some hotel front desks between March 18, 2017 and July 2, 2017.

The malicious code allowed crooks to siphon cardholder name, card number, expiration date, and internal verification code.

“Based on our investigation, 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. Our enhanced cybersecurity measures and additional layers of defense implemented over time helped to identify and resolve the issue.” continues the notification.

At the time, Hyatt is not able to identify each specific payment card that may have been affected by the data breach.

“While we estimate that the incident affected a small percentage of payment cards used by guests who visited the group of affected Hyatt hotels during the at-risk time period, the available information and data does not allow Hyatt to identify each specific payment card that may have been affected,” said Chuck Floyd, global president of operations at Hyatt Hotels Corporation.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time the company discovered a data breach, this is the second incident in the last two years.

In January 2016, the Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced a total of 250 of its resorts were compromised in a malware-based attack in 2015, hackers stole customer payment card information.

At the time of the incident, the company announced a significant enhancement of cybersecurity measures to protect its payment systems, but the actions were obviously not enough.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Hyatt Hotels Corporation, data breach)

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