Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the international hotel chain that owns and operates hotels under the Westin, Sheraton, W Hotels, St. Regis, and Le Méridien brands, has announced on Friday that point of sale systems at 54 of its hotels in North America have been compromised.
“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,” the company explained.
“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.”
They also said that they cannot identify individual affected customers based on the payment card data the company has available, and advised people who stayed at one of their North American properties between November 7, 2014 and June 30, 2015 (for more specific periods of compromise, check out the provided list), to check their payment card statements to see if they used a card at the hotel(s) during a relevant time period.
“If you believe your payment card was affected or you see any unusual activity on your account statement, you should immediately contact your bank or card issuer,” they urged. The company has also offered free identity protection and credit monitoring services for one year to affected customers.
They offered no more details about how many customers have had their info compromised, how the breach was discovered, and when.
The announcement came four days after Marriott International, another huge hospitality company, announced it would purchase Starwood Hotels & Resorts, creating thus the world’s largest hotel company.