Kimpton Hotels is investigating a possible payment card breach

It could be the latest major hotel chain to lose customer data to cybercriminals

Kimpton Hotels, operator of boutique hotels across the U.S., is investigating reports of a possible payment card data breach. If confirmed, it would become the latest in a string of successful attacks on hotel chain operators in the last year.

The San Francisco-based company said it was "recently made aware of a report of unauthorized charges occurring on cards that were previously used legitimately at Kimpton properties."

As a result, it has hired a computer security firm to investigate whether its systems were compromised and guest data stolen. In the meantime, it advised guests to monitor their card statements for unauthorized charges.

On Tuesday, computer security journalist Brian Krebs, who writes the closely followed Krebs on Security blog, said he had contacted Kimpton on July 22 after three payments industry sources told him of a pattern of card abuse that suggested a breach at two dozen Kimpton hotels.

The chain operates 62 hotels across the U.S. with a total of 11,153 rooms available.

In the last year, several other hotel chains have been targeted by cyber criminals and customer data has been stolen. Major names like Hilton, Starwood, Hyatt, and Trump have all lost customer payment card data to thieves.

The attacks have typically targeted the payment processing systems at the organizations. Similar hacks have also resulted in major data breaches and large retailers.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
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