Be wary of using your credit cards in hotels, because those places are a favourite spots for hackers to steal credit card information.
SpiderLabs, one of the data-security consultation firms of the Trustwave company, released a study which shows that over 38% of credit card hacking-related crimes last year involved hotels than other industries. Other sectors that were cited in the study that were involved with credit card crime included: the restaurants and bars industry, 13%; the retailing industry, 14.2%; and the financial service industry, 19%.
According to private security investigator, Anthony C. Roman, hotels have plenty of security problems that make it easy for hackers to get credit card information and even by using the simplest methods. And add the fact that hotels have a rich supply of credit card information and that the sophistication of their security systems differs from one hotel branch to the next, this makes this sector easy picking for credit card hackers to get data.
The report also pointed that that while various organizations move forward by implementing and upgrading new technology, they also overlook their security systems.
Roman added that while the hotel industry suffers through the hard economic times, their security systems also suffer and sometimes fail to be upgraded. And with the many thousands of credit cards that have been hacked out of hotels lately, the industry is suffering much in light of this issue.
Just last month, credit card hacking incidents have been occurring regularly. The luxury hotel chain Destination Hotels and Resorts have notified their customers that their credit cards may have been hacked into. Over an estimated 700 credit cards have been compromised with around $2, 000 - $3, 000 stolen from each of them after they have been victimized by a database attack that had lasted for over three months.
Wyndham Hotels have also suffered from credit card hacking crimes when they announced that their computer system had been penetrated and hacked into by a sophisticated hacker, and has affected over 31 of their branches from November 2009 until January 2010. The hotel chain has started to upgrade their security systems and technology ever since the incident.
These kinds of credit card information theft often take months to discover. Fraud experts pointed out that hackers take personal data, make small charges at first, then make bigger charges after they have tested its credit card vulnerability.
Credit card companies have started to pressure merchants and hotels to upgrade their security standards in the light of this issue, so they could prevent more credit card hacking crimes. Roman also advises credit card users to be vigilant in order to avoid further credit card hacking crime. Hotels and travellers have also been advised to shred any printed trace of credit card use.