Trump Hotels Breached by Credit Card Hackers, Again
A new report alleges that the Trump Hotel Collection has been the target of a breach of its credit card systems, for a second time in less than a year.
Republican frontrunner and presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s exclusive string of luxury hotel properties, the Trump Hotel Collection, may be the target of a second known breach of its credit card systems.
The news was initially reported by security researcher and journalist Brian Krebs, on his blog KrebsOnSecurity.
Citing sources within the banking industry, KrebsOnSecurity revealed that banking insiders and sleuths noticed a pattern of fraud on customer credit cards, all of whom had one thing in common – they were used at properties of the Trump Hotel Collection.
In acknowledging the possible breach, a representative for Donald Trump’s hotel chain confirmed that an internal investigation is underway. In a written statement, the company stated:
We are in the midst of a thorough investigation on this matter. We are committed to safeguarding all guests’ personal information and will continue to do so vigilantly.
The security researcher revealed that three separate sources from within the financial sector revealed concerns relating to a possible fraud, suggesting that point-of-sale (POS) systems were hacked by malicious cybercriminals at some, if not all Trump Hotel Collection properties.
Trump Hotels had previously confirmed a malware infection that had targeted its POS systems for over a year, coinciding with the hotel administration admitting to the breach in September 2015.
This time, the pattern of fraud was noticed in multiple locations over the past 2-3 months. The affected properties include the Trump International Hotel New York, Trump Hotel Waikiki in Honolulu and the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto.
Besides the menace of ransomware malware targeting hospitals in recent times, malware infecting POS terminals in elite hotel chains has also become a prominent threat in the realm of cybersecurity. Besides the Trump Hotels, the Hilton Hotels’ chain was also the target of a similar POS-targeting malware that compromised registers used in gift shops and restaurants at Hilton properties in the United States.
Furthermore, Hyatt Hotels Corp also revealed that it was the victim of a credit card breach, in a statement toward the end of 2015.
Donald Trump: We’re No Good at Cybersecurity
Ironically, Donald Trump has highlighted that the United States is “obsolete” when it comes to cybersecurity.
During an interview with the New York Times in his campaign trail that spanned a wide range of topics, Trump stated:
[W]e’re so obsolete in cyber[space]. We’re the ones that sort of were very much involved with the creation [of cyberspace and security].
But certainly cyber has to be a, you know, certainly cyber has to be in our thought process, very strongly in our thought process. Inconceivable that, inconceivable the power of cyber.
Finally, he added that other countries are moving at a “much more rapid pace” when it comes to cybersecurity, compared to the United States.
“We are frankly not being led very well in terms of the protection of this country,” Trump stated.