Security Experts:

Kimpton Hotels Confirms Point-of-Sale Systems Were Hacked

After launching an investigation in July after unauthorized charges were identified on payment cards used at its properties, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants confirmed Wednesday that point-of-sale malware had been installed on servers powering payment card transactions at restaurants and front desks of some its hotels.

Kimpton is a San Francisco-based company that operates more than 60 boutique hotels and over 70 restaurants, bars and lounges in 30 cities across the United States.

Related Resource: Point-of-Sale Security - Defending Against PoS Malware

The company first received a report on July 15, 2016 of unauthorized charges occurring on payment cards after they had been used at Kimpton properties.

“The malware searched for track data read from the magnetic stripe of a payment card as it was being routed through the affected server,” the company said. “The malware primarily found track data that contained the card number, expiration date, and internal verification code, but in a small number of instances it may have found the track that also contains the cardholder name.”

According to the hotel chain, the “at risk” period when systems were compromised was between February 16, 2016 and July 7, 2016. 

The company said its system does not store information to identify the name and address of restaurant guests, but guests who used their card at a front desk during an at risk time frame will be notified by mail.  

The company says the malware has been removed and that it has worked with cyber security firms to boost its data protection measures.

A list of the affected hotel front desks and restaurants, along with the specific time frames for each is available online at www.kimptonhotels.com/protectingourguests.

Many hotels have suffered data breaches over the past months. The list includes Hyatt HotelsMandarin Oriental Hotel GroupWhite Lodging ServicesTrump Hotel Collection,Hilton and Starwood Hotels. The most recent victims are Omni Hotels and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. Tens and even hundreds of locations were impacted in some cases.

In most cases, cybercriminals steal credit and debit card data by planting malware on the point-of-sale (PoS) systems of the targeted organization. Attackers have a wide range of PoS malware families to choose from for these types of operations, including NitlovePoSPoSeidonMWZLessonMalumPOSCherry PickerAbaddonPOSTreasureHuntMultigrain, and many more. 

Related White Paper: Point-of-Sale Security - Defending Against PoS Malware

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.