White Lodging confirms another long-running payment card “suspected breach”

White Lodging, an independent hotel management company, continues to struggle to really secure customer card data. Since January 2014, when Brian Krebs reported that White Lodging card data had been compromised for most of 2013, White Lodging has attempted to harden its security. In February 2014, the firm confirmed the suspected breach of point of sales systems from the period March 20 – December 16, 2013 at  14 properties.

But whatever improvements they made in infosecurity apparently weren’t sufficient. In February 2015, Brian Krebs reported that White Lodging had been hit again.

Today, White Lodging announced a “suspected breach” of point of sale systems. The “suspected breach” occurred between July 3, 2014 and February 6, 2015 at 10 properties:

  • Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, Indianapolis, IN
  • Chicago Marriott Midway Airport, Chicago, IL
  • Auburn Hills Marriott Pontiac at Centerpoint, Pontiac, MI
  • Austin Marriott South Airport, Austin, TX
  • Boulder Marriott, Boulder, CO
  • Denver Marriott South at Park Meadows, Denver, CO
  • Louisville Marriott Downtown, Louisville, KY
  • Renaissance Boulder Flatiron, Broomfield, CO
  • Courtyard Austin Downtown, Austin, TX
  • Sheraton Hotel Erie Bayfront, Erie, PA

White Lodging says they were initially notified on January 27, 2015 of suspicious card activity involving four Marriott properties.

Although some of the same properties were involved in the 2013 breach and the 2014 breach, White Lodging says these are unrelated incidents.

In their statement, they write:

“After suffering a malware incident in 2014, we took various actions to prevent a recurrence, including engaging a third party security firm to provide security technology and managed services,” said Dave Sibley, White Lodging president and CEO, Hospitality Management. “These security measures were unable to stop the current malware occurrence on point of sale systems at food and beverage outlets in 10 hotels that we manage.  We continue to remain committed to investing in the measures necessary to protect the personal information entrusted to us by our valuable guests.  We deeply regret and apologize for this situation.”

The data at risk is “believed to be limited to names printed on customers’ credit or debit cards, credit or debit card numbers, the security code and card expiration dates.”

White Lodging is offering one year of complimentary fraud resolution and identity protection services from Experian to all affected cardholders.

After two breaches like this, will White Lodging find itself losing its hotel clients? I’ve no doubt they’re trying to stop and prevent problems, but how many customers have been affected by now? And will they face scrutiny from the FTC?

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