Barbara's Beat: Marriott, Holiday Inn, and more hacked

Monday, February 3, 2014

Marriott, Holiday Inn, and more hacked

White Lodging releases information 

about data breach investigation

White Lodging Services Corporation, an independent hotel management company, announced where they suspect a breach of point of sales systems from the period March 20 - Dec. 16, 2013 at food and beverage outlets, such as restaurants and lounges, at 14 properties.
In addition, there was one property where the point of sale system and property management system used at the front desk were also suspected as affected.

White Lodging manages hotels under agreements with the hotel owners and is a distinct and separate entity from specific hotel brands. The food and beverage outlets affected by the suspected breach were located at the following hotels:

Marriott Midway, Chicago, IL
• Holiday Inn Midway, Chicago, IL
• Holiday Inn Austin Northwest, Austin, TX
• Sheraton Erie Bayfront, Erie, PA
• Westin Austin at the Domain, Austin, TX
• Marriott Boulder, Boulder, CO
• Marriott Denver South, Denver, CO
• Marriott Austin South, Austin, TX
• Marriott Indianapolis Downtown, Indianapolis, IN
• Marriott Richmond Downtown, Richmond, VA
• Marriott Louisville Downtown, Louisville KY
• Renaissance Plantation, Plantation, FL
• Renaissance Broomfield Flatiron, Broomfield, CO
• Radisson Star Plaza, Merrillville, IN

Guests at the hotel who did not use their credit card at these outlets, and guests who purchased to their room account at these outlets, were not affected.

At the Radisson Star Plaza in Merrillville, IN, the company suspects the points of sale system at food and beverage outlets were affected, as well as the property management system that manages hotel guests’ credit card information.

Upon learning of the suspected data security breach, the company immediately contacted appropriate federal law enforcement officials and initiated a third-party forensic review, including a review of all other properties managed by White Lodging. They  continue to work with investigators and the credit card companies.

The unlawfully accessed data may have included names printed on customers’ credit or debit cards, credit or debit card numbers, the security code and card expiration dates.  Guests who used or visited the affected businesses during the nine month-period and who used a credit or debit card to pay their bills at the outlets might have had their information compromised and are encouraged to review their statements.  

Free ID protection
We will be releasing additional information about this incident in the near future and will post it on our website (  In addition, we are currently arranging to offer one year of complimentary personal identity protection services to all affected cardholders.

Report to your card issuer
While the financial institutions that have issued the credit or debit cards that are suspected of being affected by this incident are already aware of this situation and are increasing their fraud monitoring or have reissued the card, customers who suspect unauthorized activity should report it to the issuer of the credit or debit card. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover policies provide you zero liability for any unauthorized charges if you report them in a timely manner.

Get a fraud alert
Guests should also consider placing a fraud alert on their credit files. An initial fraud alert, which lasts for 90 days, requires potential creditors to use reasonable policies and procedures to verify a customer's identity before issuing credit in the customer. 

To place an alert, calls can be made to anyone of the following three credit reporting agencies: Experian (888) 397-3742;  Equifax  (800) 525-6285; or  TransUnion  (800) 680-7289. A fraud alert request call to any of the three agencies will result in all three agencies implementing the alert. Customers then will receive letters from all three agencies, confirming the alert is in place and letting customers know how to obtain a free copy of your credit report.  Interested parties also can order a free copy of the customer’s credit report by calling (877) 322-8228 or by visiting

For more information about White Lodging, please visit

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