Four months after confirming payment card breach, Mandarin Hotel begins notifying customers

Back on March 4, Brian Krebs reported that the Mandarin Hotel had confirmed a payment card breach affecting some customers.

The breach wasn’t reported to the California Attorney General’s Office until today, however.

In a letter from their external counsel, the hotel chain explains:

On February 25, 2015, Mandarin Oriental was alerted to the suspected malware attack and immediately launched a forensic investigation into the incident, working in close coordination and cooperation with law enforcement and the credit card companies. From its investigation, Mandarin Oriental believes the hacker may have used a new variant of malware to obtain access to its hotel credit card systems beginning on or around June 18, 2014. Mandarin Oriental believes the hacker may have used this new variant of malware to acquire the credit card numbers and names of individuals who used a credit card to purchase accommodation, spa, dining, or other products and services at the impacted Mandarin Oriental hotel properties.

Based on the investigative results to-date, Mandarin Oriental has confirmed that there are 2,835 California residents whose credit card numbers and names may have been acquired without authorization by the hacker. While the investigation has not shown any evidence that their information was misused, out of an abundance of caution, and in order to provide potentially impacted individuals with information they can use to protect themselves as soon as possible, Mandarin Oriental is sending notice to these individuals on July 10, 2015.

The affected Mandarin Hotel properties are:

  • Mandarin Oriental, Boston between June 18, 2014 and March 12, 2015
  • Mandarin Oriental, Geneva between June 18, 2014 and March 3, 2015
  • Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong between June 18, 2014 and February 10, 2015
  • Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London between June 18, 2014 and March 5, 2015
  • Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas between June 18, 2014 and October 16, 2014
  • Mandarin Oriental, Miami between June 18, 2014 and March 3, 2015
  • Mandarin Oriental, New York between June 18, 2014 and January 18, 2015
  • Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco between June 18, 2014 and February 14, 2015
  • Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC between June 18, 2014 and January 20, 2015
  • The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong between June 18, 2014 and February 3, 2015

It is not clear why it has taken Mandarin Hotel months to begin notifying individuals. Although they posted something on their web site back in March, they really can’t count on guests from 2014 checking their site in March 2015.

Note that their notification says they have no evidence of misuse of the data. That contradicts Krebs’ sources in the financial industry who had informed him “about a pattern of fraudulent charges on customer cards that had all recently been used at Mandarin hotels.”

Those being notified are being offered 12 months of free identity protection through Experian’s ProtectMyID Alert program and ExtendCARE, which will provide fraud resolution support even after ProtectMyID membership has expired.

A copy of their notification letter can be found on the California Attorney General’s web site.

 

 

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