According to USA Today, computer hackers continue to steal hotel guests’ credit-card data more than any other industry. Nicholas Percoco, an Internet expert who investigates corporate data breaches, says that after hotels, restaurants were the next-most-investigated industry for breaches.
Part of the problem for hotels is that hackers have been creating more sophisticated software. The new breed of software can sit undetected inside a hotel’s network for months until an expert seeks it out, said Percoco.
“Once installed on the hotel reservations system, (the hacker) is able to go through all the data on that system and pull out the credit card information,” he said. “They can look not only at historic data on that system, but also the data being input at the same time.”
Typically, hotel breaches are detected only after a credit card company notices a trend over time, he said. The credit card companies may see a pattern where credit cards are legitimately used at a particular hotel – and then fraud appears on those cards “some time after,” Percoco said.
Fortunately, some of the larger hotel companies are starting to spend money to combat hotel hackers.
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