Analecta Cyber Company Blog: The Big One: Why Hotels Are Such a Hit for Hackers

2015-10-16

The Big One: Why Hotels Are Such a Hit for Hackers

Hilton Hotels, a worldwide resort and hotel franchise, based in McLean, Virginia, may have been a victim of a large-scale financial data breach. The hotel chain is investigating a series of ongoing credit card fraud incidents which may suggest that it was indeed a victim of cyber criminals. This report of hotel breach adds to an increasingly long list of hacking events connected to businesses where customers regularly spend large amounts of money.



Technology plays a major role in these cyber crimes through the availability of personal financial information stored in company networks and readily accessible to hackers if left unsecured. A high volume of sensitive cardholder data passes through these hotels, creating sensitive data footprints in their system. This is the main reason why this type of industry has been specified as one of the most vulnerable consumer-facing sectors when it comes to hackers.

According to reports, hackers initially penetrated the system as far back as the last quarter of 2014 and began phishing for sensitive customer data from point-of-sale machines. It’s also possible that the hackers are ongoing. Currently, the Hilton hack primarily affected a large number of their properties in the U.S. and appears to be limited to credit card transactions at their restaurants and gift shops. The security breach happened between April 21 and July 27, according to USA Today.

Hotel chain responds to attack

Hilton Hotels avowed to look into the matter and take the issue very seriously. They confirmed to have systems in place to counter this kind of attacks. And they are working with some of the top experts to address the security breach. Unfortunately, in today's marketplace, it’s likely that any type of business will encounter the same problem.