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Westin is latest hotel to be hit by hackers

08 March 2010

In further proof that the hospitality industry is becoming a prime target for hackers, The Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites has admitted a likely data security breach.

According to Westin, its four restaurants – Lake View Bistro, Lobby Court Bar, Bonavista Lounge, L.A. Prime – along with its valet parking operation may have suffered a data security breach between April and December last year.

According to a statement issued by Westin, compromised data may include names printed on customer credit or debit cards, card numbers, and expiration dates.

"Guests who used or visited the affected businesses during the eight month-period and who used a credit or debit card to pay their bills directly to the restaurants and valet parking might have had such information compromised and are encouraged to review their statements from that time period," Westin said.

Although the company gave advice on how to place a full alert on a credit file, it did not offer any credit protection services for potential victims in the statement.

According to the 2010 Global Security Report from Trustwave, hospitality companies became the most breached sector in 2009, representing just over a third of all breaches. That said, the majority of these cases stemmed from a single site breach, the company said at the time.

However, hospitality breaches appear to be mounting. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts also suffered a security breach between late October last year and January. It is not clear whether the Wyndham hack was the single site breach reported by Trustwave, but the hospitality firm said that a hacker went through centralized network connections. "The hacker was then able to access and download information from several, but not all, of the WHR hotels and remove payment card information of a small percentage of our WHR customers," Wyndham Hotels and Resorts said at the time.

Westin said that although customers of its restaurants and valet operation may have been compromised, the hacker did not gain access to customer card data stored in the system that stored credit card information for its hotel guests.

The Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites is independently owned by Today's IV, Inc. and operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc. under a license issued by Westin Hotel Management. 

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