Hilton Worldwide discloses malware-related payment card breach began in November, 2014 (Update2)

From a statement on their site today:

Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) has identified and taken action to eradicate unauthorized malware that targeted payment card information in some point-of-sale systems.  Hilton immediately launched an investigation and has further strengthened its systems.

Hilton Worldwide worked closely with third-party forensics experts, law enforcement and payment card companies on this investigation, and determined that specific payment card information was targeted by this malware.  This information includes cardholder names, payment card numbers, security codes and expiration dates, but no addresses or personal identification numbers (PINs).

As a precautionary measure, customers may wish to review and monitor their payment card statements if they used a payment card at a Hilton Worldwide hotel over a seventeen-week period, from November 18 to December 5, 2014 or April 21 to July 27, 2015.

Customers generally are not responsible for fraudulent activity on their payment cards, and should contact their financial institution directly if they notice any irregularities.  They can also visit /guestupdate for more details, including how to receive one year of complimentary credit monitoring.

Hilton Worldwide is strongly committed to protecting customers’ payment card information, and we sincerely regret any inconvenience this may have caused customers.

Hilton does not state how they first learned of the breach, nor whether they have any reports of payment card fraud associated with the incident. Nor do they indicate which properties were impacted.

Update 1: Their notification to the California Attorney General’s Office answers some of the questions raised above:

  1. In response to the question of how they discovered the breach, they write: Hilton initially identified the unauthorized malware through its information security system and processes. 
  2. In terms of which properties were impacted, they write: The unauthorized malware targeted payment card information at Hilton Worldwide hotels. The Hilton portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. 
  3. In response to the question as to how many cards were impacted, they write: While we cannot address the actual number of cards impacted…. To which I respond, “Why not? Don’t you know or you’re just not willing to say, or….?

Update 2, March 7, 2016: At long last, I found the total number affected. Hilton Worldwide reported the incident to the Maryland Attorney General’s Office as affecting 370,000. Unfortunately, that office is slow to upload the reports they receive, so it just appeared today, even though Hilton reported it to them on November 24, 2015.

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