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Security & privacy

Hotel booking breach could have worldwide impact

Once upon a time, having to book a hotel was a bit complicated. You had to call the place up and provide plenty of details, all while hoping they had rooms available at a price you were willing to pay.

Nowadays, booking a hotel has never been easier, with the ability to do so online and through various different services. Unfortunately, as the process of booking a hotel began to migrate to online platforms, the possibility of hacks and other breaches only increased.

With things like credit card numbers and other information necessary in order to book, it’s understandable that hackers would have interest. And sure enough, a hotel booking software provider is dealing with a hacking problem.

It’s a worldwide issue

The data breach impacted FastBooking, which is a Paris-based company that claims to sell hotel booking software to thousands of hotels in 100 different countries. According to an email the company sent to affected hotels, the breach took place on June 14 when an attacker exploited a vulnerability in an application that was hosted on its server.

A malicious tool was installed on the server, one that allowed for remote access that was used to take data. Bits of information such as guests’ first and last names, nationality, postal addresses, email addresses and hotel name, check-in and check-out details were taken.

In some cases, the hacker was even able to get payment card details like the name printed on the card, the card’s number and its expiration date.

Along with a notice that their system was hacked, FastBooking alerted hotels to the number of guests whose data was taken, as well as what exactly was stolen. They have also given each hotel templates for not only how to notify guests of the breach, but also how to notify national data protection agencies about the leak of private guest data.

Alerts may be coming

In a press release, FastBooking said the breach affected 380 Japanese hotels alone. In that instance, Prince Hotels & Resorts was the first hotel chain to alert its guests, saying 124,963 who stayed across 82 different hotels were impacted.

Given that thousands of hotels are part of the FastBooking network, the breach’s reach is likely to stretch much, much further.

Because of that, more people may soon be notified of the issue, alerting them to the fact that there are some steps that will need to be taken.

If you do get notified, you will want to cancel the cards that were attached to the booking site and check your bill for any charges you will want to contest.

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