Latest report of breach indicates hotels targeted

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Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 12:00 am | Updated: 2:08 pm, Thu Jun 5, 2014.

SAN FRANCISCO — In the latest in a spate of online attacks affecting U.S. businesses, White Lodging, which manages hotel franchises for chains like Marriott, Hilton and Starwood Hotels, is investigating a potential security breach involving customers’ payment information.

White Lodging Services Corp., which works with 168 hotels in 21 states, confirmed that it was examining the data breach.

The intrusion into its systems was first posted by Brian Krebs, a security blogger, on Friday, when he reported that the breach might have resulted in the fraudulent use of hundreds of credit and debit cards for payment at Marriott hotels between March and the end of the year.

Krebs was also first to report the hacking of consumer data from Target, Neiman Marcus and Michaels, the arts and crafts retailer.

Krebs said he was alerted to fraudulent transactions at scattered Marriott hotel locations by unidentified people in the banking industry. The locations where the fraudulent activity took place were all managed by White Lodging, which is based in Merrillville, Ind.

Kathleen Quilligan, a spokeswoman for White Lodging, confirmed the company was investigating. Separately, Marriott confirmed that a franchisee had experienced unusual fraud activity connected to the systems that process credit card transactions for hotels including Marriott and others. The company said it was working closely with the franchisee as it investigated.

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