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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Grand Hyatt in Qatar among hotels targeted for financial data

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Updated at 12:30pm to include a statement from the Grand Hyatt Doha

The Grand Hyatt Doha is one of some 250 hotels that were recently exposed to malicious software that steals customers’ financial information, the hospitality firm has said.

However, there are no reports of thieves stealing money from the local hotel’s customers as a result.

Guests who used a credit or debit card at the Qatar hotel between mid-August and December 2015 are being asked to review their statements for suspicious transactions and to report unauthorized charges to their card issuers.

In a statement, the Hyatt said the malware was designed to collect payment card data, including cardholders’ names, card numbers, expiration dates and internal verification codes, as data was routed through payment processing systems.

 For illustrative purposes only
For illustrative purposes only

The primary risk is to individuals who used cards at the hotel chain’s restaurants and, to a lesser extent, the spa and front desk.

In a list of affected hotels, the company said the Grand Hyatt Doha was exposed between Aug. 13 and Dec. 8, 2015.

However, the local hotel said it had no reason to believe its systems were breached:

“We have not been made aware that any of our guests was exposed during their stay with us,” area vice-president Christoph Franzen said in a statement.

Hyatt said it is working with cyber security experts to improve the country’s electronic safeguards, adding, “Customers can confidently use payment cards at Hyatt hotels worldwide.”

Hyatt is not alone in being targeted by cyber thieves. The Guardian reported that Hilton, Starwood, Mandarin Oriental and Trump Collection chains have also previously found malware in their payment systems.

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