Security & Fraud

Malware Checks In To Starwood’s POS

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Just days after Marriott agreed to purchase the Starwood Hotels & Resorts chain for $12.2 billion, officially creating the world’s largest hotel company, Starwood announced some of its hotel locations were hit by a malware attack between November 2014 and October.

Reuters reported earlier today that the payment systems of 54 Starwood hotels in North America were infected with a malware designed to compromise payment card data. The breach enabled unauthorized parties to gain access to sensitive information such as payment card number, cardholder name, security code and expiration date.

The company confirmed it launched an investigation with the help of third-party forensic experts to address the problem, which has found that no payment data was compromised by the malware infection, Reuters stated.

According to Starwood, the malware did not impact the company’s guest reservation or guest membership systems and there was no indication that customer information such as PINs or contact information were impacted.

“Protecting our customers’ information is critically important to Starwood and we take this issue extremely seriously,” Sergio Rivera, Starwood President, The Americas, said in the statement.

“Quickly after we became aware of the possible issue, we took prompt action to determine the facts. We have been working closely with law enforcement authorities and have been coordinating our efforts with the payment card organizations. We want to assure our customers that we have implemented additional security measures to help prevent this type of crime from reoccurring.”

The locations and potential dates of exposure for each affected Starwood property are available here. The company said the malware was detected at certain restaurants, gift shops and other POS systems at the relevant Starwood hotel properties.

Jessica Doyle, Starwood’s director of corporate communications, told The Wall Street Journal that customers who stayed at affected locations but did not make purchases at the restaurants or shops would not be impacted by the malware.

Starwood Hotels has released a full list of the 54 locations impacted by the malware breaches.

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