High-end hotel chain Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group confirmed Wednesday that its hotels had been the victim of a credit card data breach. As reported by cyber security industry specialist Brian Krebs, Mandarin was alerted to the breach after receiving reports from numerous financial institutions that a pattern of fraud had come up involving customers’ credit cards used at the company’s hotels.
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Though few details, such as how many of Mandarin’s more than two dozen worldwide locations were hit by the breach, have been made public, banking industry insiders told Krebs that the cyber theft “almost certainly impacted most if not all Mandarin hotels in the United States.” Furthermore, banking sources speculated to Krebs that the breach likely occurred just before Christmas last December.
“Unfortunately incidents of this nature are increasingly becoming an industry-wide concern,” Mandarin said in a statement. “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.”
Unlike more direct cyber attacks that directly targeted computer payment systems, it is believed the individuals responsible for the Mandarin breach compromised the payment terminals of restaurants and businesses located inside the hotels, not the company’s front desk payment systems.