Starwood Most Recent Hotel Chain to Experience Security Breach
Nov. 23, 2015
On Friday, Starwood Hotels, parent company of popular hotel brands Sheraton, Westin, W and other luxury brands, revealed in a letter to customers that point-of-sale systems at 54 of its locations—mostly in the U.S.—had been infected with malware, exposing credit-card information to hackers. This breach makes Starwood the latest in a string of lodging companies targeted by cybercriminals that includes Trump International, Hilton, Mandarin and White Lodging. The company said the malware specifically targeted payment-card information and did not compromise Social Security numbers or PINs.
“This news is unsettling, especially as millions of families are preparing to travel for the upcoming holiday season,” said Kevin Watson, CEO at security solutions provider Netsurion. “It’s also a reminder that no business is immune from cybercriminals, and especially during the busy upcoming shopping season, merchants, retailers, hotel and hospitality businesses that process payment data are especially lucrative targets.”
Earlier last week, Starwood agreed to be acquired by Marriott for $12.2 billion. The deal, which is expected to close by the middle of 2016, would create the largest hotel chain in the world.