Starwood Notifies Customers Of Malware Security Breach
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc announced today that the point of sale systems of a limited number of its hotels in North America were infected with malware, enabling unauthorized parties to access payment card data of some customers.
Promptly after discovering the issue, Starwood engaged third-party forensic experts to conduct an extensive investigation to determine the facts. Based on the investigation, malware was detected that affected certain restaurants, gift shops and other point of sale systems at the relevant Starwood properties. There is no indication at this time that the Company’s guest reservation or Starwood Preferred Guest membership systems were impacted. The malware was designed to collect certain payment card information, including cardholder name, payment card number, security code and expiration date. There is no evidence that other customer information, such as contact information or PINs, were affected by this issue. The affected hotels have taken steps to secure customer payment card information and the malware no longer presents a threat to customers using payment cards at Starwood hotels.
“Protecting our customers’ information is critically important to Starwood and we take this issue extremely seriously,” said Sergio Rivera, Starwood President, The Americas. “Quickly after we became aware of the possible issue, we took prompt action to determine the facts. We have been working closely with law enforcement authorities and have been coordinating our efforts with the payment card organizations. We want to assure our customers that we have implemented additional security measures to help prevent this type of crime from reoccurring.”
Starwood encourages customers to carefully review and monitor their payment card account statements. If a customer believes his or her payment card may have been affected, the customer should immediately contact their bank or card issuer.