Hospitality: an easy target for hackers with attractive profits

    The theft of information, followed by a ransom demand for it, is a fashionable cyber attack that has also come to the hotel business. Panda Security’s PandaLabs Antivirus Lab published a study on Hotel Hackers , a document that looks at the trend of cyber attacks targeting large hotel chains.

    The study says that in 2015, many such attacks were carried out. Detailed information is available on this type of intrusion, and how many hotel chains around the world have been affected by these attacks. Among the victims were such well-known hotel chains as Trump, Hilton and Starwood .

    Hackers see: hotels are a lucrative business

    When a hacker sees a hotel as the next victim, he thinks he can “hack” into the millions of hotel rooms that millions of people live in, spending millions of dollars.

    Starting from booking a room and ending with payments at restaurants and hotel shops, hotels have sophisticated networks that store a huge amount of critical and personal data, and hackers just want to hack them. If you have recently stayed at a hotel, then it may make sense to check your credit card transactions again ...

    Promised story

    2015 set a new milestone in this field of activity. By 2015, most hotels, regardless of their size, were victims of cyber crimes. Cyber ​​criminals have also taken a look at those companies that provide hotel services.

    White Lodging: 24 hotels affected

    White Lodging operates a number of well-known hotels such as Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, Sheraton and Westin. Although they are more of a hotel management company than a hotel chain, they have also been the victims of a major cyber attack that became known in 2014. In 2013, information on credit and debit cards of customers was compromised in fourteen of their hotels.

    Two years later, they faced another attack on ten of their hotels (some of them were the victims of a previous attack). Hackers did even more damage by stealing customer credit card information: cardholder names, numbers, security codes, and expiration dates. According to White Lodging, this attack was different from what it was in 2013.

    Mandarin Oriental: thousands of credit cards scattered

    The luxurious Mandarin Oriental was attacked in March 2015. A malicious program infected POS terminals at some of the group's hotels located in Europe and America. The malware was specifically designed and aimed at these types of machine systems, allowing the theft of credit card information.

    Trump Hotels : Dozens of infected PCs and POS terminals

    Between May 2014 and June 2015, seven establishments were attacked. As they themselves admitted, customer credit card information was stolen through infected POS terminals and PCs located in their restaurants, souvenir shops, etc. One year was enough for the criminals to receive a huge amount of personal confidential information.

    Hard Rock Las Vegas: 173,000 bank cards stolen

    As a result of the attack, several POS terminals were infected in their restaurants, bars and shops. But the devices in the hotel or casino were not affected. For seven months (from September 2014 to April 2015), Hard Rock Las Vegas was faced with attacks that led to the theft of 173,000 bank cards from their restaurants, bars and shops. But they were not the only affected hotel / casino. FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek also suffered in 2015.

    Hilton Worldwide: Access Confidential Information

    In November 2015, Hilton Worldwide issued a press release in which the company admitted that it was the victim of a cyber attack. They did not provide detailed information about what happened, but it is known that all the information about the customers' credit cards was compromised. Fortunately, PINs and other personal information were not affected.

    Starwood: 105 hotels affected

    Around the same time that the Hilton was attacked, Starwood announced that they had been the victim of a similar cyber attack. 105 hotels in the Starwood chain (Sheraton, St. Regis, Westin, W, etc.) were attacked, which made this attack the largest attack on hotels of this kind at that time. They published a list of hotels where their POS terminals were infected.

    Hyatt: 249 hotels affected

    The Starwood record did not last long. Then what happened was what we know as the largest ever cyber attack on hotels. The Hyatt hotel chain in its press release confirmed that POS terminals were infected in their 249 hotels located in 54 countries. From July to September 2015, their POS terminals were infected (again!), After which the credit card information of all their customers was stolen.

    Rosen Hotels & Resorts: they were infected for 1.5 years and did not know about it

    The most recent victims were Rosen Hotels & Resorts . So far, they have not provided details of the theft, but they confirmed that their POS terminals were infected with malware from September 2014 to February 2016. Having infected their POS systems, unknown persons gained access to the credit card details of Rosen customers for the past year and a half.

    Behind all these attacks is real economic interest. The hotel business has become one of the main goals for cyber criminals. In addition to motivation, it is worth noting the presence of malware specially designed to collect important information about credit cards through POS systems. Obviously, hackers are not going to retire any time soon. This alarming situation affects the hotel business not only from an economic point of view, but also undermines its reputation, causes panic among customers and destabilizes the business.

    Malicious programs that infect POS terminals to steal credit card information, as well as targeted attacks on hotel IT systems to steal confidential information, are two examples of what can happen as a result of a cyber attack. Such attacks have a negative impact on the financial condition of hotels and their reputation.

    Hotels need to strengthen security measures in their networks, devices and systems, as well as know how to choose the most suitable solution to protect their IT systems. Not every security system is suitable for hotel chains, because each of them offers different levels of security, and not every one can protect them in any digital ecosystem or environment.


    To protect against modern threats and targeted attacks, a system will help that ensures the confidentiality of information, data protection, business reputation and IT assets.

    Adaptive Defense 360 is the first and only information security service that combines one of the most effective traditional antiviruses with modern protection and the ability to classify all executable processes.

    Adaptive Defensive 360 ​​is able to detect malicious programs and strange behavior that are not detected by other protection services, due to the classification of all running and executable processes. Thanks to this, the solution is able to provide protection against known malicious programs, as well as from zero-day attacks, constant threats of increased complexity (Advanced Persistent Threats) and targeted attacks. The administrator will always know what happens with each file and process.

    Detailed graphs show everything that happens on the network: the chronology of threats, the flow of information, how active processes behave, how malware penetrates the system, where it happens, with whom, how threats gain access to information, etc. The solution makes it easy to detect and close vulnerabilities, as well as prevent unwanted elements (navigation toolbars, adware, additional components, etc.)

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