British multinational hotel company InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) confirmed on Friday that systems processing payments for some of its properties in the Americas region have been breached by cybercriminals.
The company launched an investigation in late December, following reports of a fraud pattern on credit and debit cards used at some of its hotels, particularly ones operating under the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands.
Cyber security firms investigating the incident found malware on servers that processed payment cards at the bars and restaurants of 12 properties managed by IHG. Cards used at front desks are not affected.
The malware infected servers between August and December 2016, and it was designed to steal track data (i.e. cardholder name, card number, expiration date and verification code) as it passed through the compromised system. The company has not provided any information about the number of affected cards.
The list of impacted hotels includes Crowne Plaza San Jose-Silicon Valley, Holiday Inn San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf, InterContinental Los Angeles Century City, InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco, InterContinental San Francisco, InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, InterContinental The Willard in Washington D.C., Holiday Inn Nashville Airport, Holiday Inn Resort in Aruba, InterContinental Toronto Yorkville in Canada, and InterContinental San Juan Resort & Casino in Puerto Rico.
“We have been working with the security firms to review our security measures, confirm that this issue has been remediated, and evaluate ways to enhance our security measures,” IHG told customers. “We have also notified law enforcement and are working with the payment card networks so that the banks that issue payment cards can be made aware and initiate heightened monitoring on the affected cards.”
IHG hotels were affected by at least two other data breaches last year. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants informed customers in August that hackers had access to its payment systems between February and July, and InterContinental hotels were also involved in an incident that impacted HEI Hotels & Resorts.