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Top Story: 20 hotel chains hit by major data breach

Top Story: 20 hotel chains hit by major data breach
photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Cybercriminals will strike just about anywhere to steal your personal information and money. In the past year, we've told you about major attacks at retail stores, hospitals and even the Summer Olympics in Rio.

Our privacy and security are always at risk and many of the threats come from the services that we use. Over the last year, data breaches at major hotel chains have become a serious concern. Now, another massive attack has been discovered at 20 hotel chains in the U.S.

Hotels operated by HEI Hotels & Resorts for Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt and Intercontinental were all a part of the data breach. Cybercriminals may have gotten their hands on thousands of customers' payment information. Purchases of food, drink and other services at the locations were included in the attack.

Malware created to steal card data was discovered on HEI's payment systems in mid-June. Those payment systems were used at bars, lobby shops, restaurants, spas and other services located at the properties. It's hard to determine how many customers were affected because they may have used their cards a number of times.

Customer identities, account numbers and card expiration dates may have all been stolen. Security experts don't believe PIN codes were accessed because they were collected with a different system.

HEI has taken steps to fix the problem. The company has implemented a new payment processing system that is independent from the rest of its computer network.

If you have traveled or stayed at a hotel recently you should keep an eye on your bank statement. Check for any unauthorized charges and report them to your financial institution immediately. You should also check your credit reports to make sure nothing fishy is going on.

 

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