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Hyatt discovers malware in its payment systems

Hyatt, the Chicago-based hotel chain, has announced yesterday that it had found malware on computers used to process payments.

In a press release (opens in new tab) issued on Wednesday, the company said it had launched an investigation as soon as the malware was spotted. It also added that it has taken steps to strengthen the security of its systems, and that customers can "feel confident” using payment cards at Hyatt hotels worldwide.

No details about the breach were unveiled, and Hyatt said it will say more after the investigation is complete. It had engaged “leading third-party cyber-security experts” to get to the bottom of this.

Still, it advises its customers to monitor their cards for unauthorized transactions:

“As always, customers should review their payment card account statements closely and report any unauthorized charges to their card issuer immediately. Payment card rules generally provide that cardholders are not responsible for unauthorized charges that are timely reported.”

A month ago, a similar thing happened to the Hilton (opens in new tab)hotel chain. Back then the company said the intruders got in between November 18th and December 5th in 2014, and between April 21st and July 27th this year. The malware didn't expose home addresses or PIN codes, but it did get access to card numbers, security codes and names -- enough that hackers could potentially make purchases.

The company said it removed the malicious code as soon as it was discovered, and offered free credit card monitoring for a year, to anyone who fears they might get robbed.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.