Major Hotel Customers Hit by Data Breach

After the Target and Niemen Marcus network breaches, retailers are now hyper-vigilant about security. But the hotel industry may need to open its eyes a little wider.

White Lodging, a company that maintains hotel franchises under nationwide brands including Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton and Westin, appears to have suffered a data breach that exposed credit and debit card information on thousands of guests throughout much of 2013, according to KrebsOnSecurity.

EUEarlier this month, multiple sources in the banking industry began sharing data indicating that they were seeing a pattern of fraud on hundreds of cards that were all previously used at Marriott hotels from roughly March 23, 2013 on through the end of last year,EU said Brian Krebs, a security expert who runs the blog. EUBut those same sources said they were puzzled by the pattern of fraud, because it was seen only at specific Marriott hotels, including locations in Austin, Chicago Denver, Los Angeles, Louisville and Tampa.EU

Marriott Speaks Out

As it turns out, Krebs said, the common thread among all those Marriott locations is the management company: Merrillville, Ind.-based White Lodging Services Corp. White Lodging bills itself as EUa fully-integrated owner, developer and manager of premium brand hotels.EU The Web site suggests its portfolio includes 168 full-service hotels in 21 states. That includes more than 30 restaurants.

EUWhite Lodging declined to offer many details, saying in an emailed statement that EUan investigation is in progress, and we will provide meaningful information as soon as it becomes available,EU Krebbs said. He noted that Marriott also issued a statement explaining that one of its franchisees has experienced unusual fraud patterns in connection with its systems that process credit card transactions at a number of hotels across a range of brands, including some Marriott-branded hotels.

EUThey are in the midst of the investigation and are in close contact...

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