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March 5, 2015

Mandarin Oriental Hotels Affected by Data Security Breach

By Esther Hertzfeld

Luxury hotel chain Mandarin Oriental said today that a number of its hotels were subject to a major security breach, and hackers have made off with guests’ credit card information. The company didn't say which locations were affected, or when cybercriminals made off with the data.

A number of fraudulent charges began appearing on credit card accounts, and cybersecurity blog Krebs On Security reported that banking industry sources said the Mandarin Oriental was the common factor for many. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group confirmed its findings on Wednesday, the blog said.

“We can confirm that Mandarin Oriental has been alerted to a potential credit card breach and is currently conducting a thorough investigation to identify and resolve the issue,” the company told the blog. “Unfortunately incidents of this nature are increasingly becoming an industry-wide concern. The group takes the protection of customer information very seriously and is coordinating with credit card agencies and the necessary forensic specialists to ensure our guests are protected.”

Rumors of a breach began swirling when financial industry sources divulged a pattern of fraudulent charges on customer cards that had all recently been used at the upscale hotel chain, reports the Consumerist.

Nearly all of Mandarin Oriental’s 24 locations worldwide may have been subject to the cyberattack, but the report claims all of the chain’s U.S. locations -- including New York, Washington, D.C., Boston and Las Vegas — were affected, reports International Business Times. Sources told the blog that the hack may have started sometime in December 2014.

Sources say it’s possible the hack originated from compromised payment terminals at restaurants and other businesses operating inside the hotels rather than the hotel front desk.


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