Is Anonymous Behind This Donald Trump Hotel Hack? The Culprits Are Unclear
The latest attack on Donald Trump isn't coming from a political opponent, but on the business front. Hackers are targeting Trump's chain of hotels and stealing credit card information for the second time in less than six months. Cyber security expert Brian Krebs first reported the breach on Monday, when he stated on his blog that three unnamed sources within the financial sector had "noticed a pattern of fraud on customer credit cards which suggests that hackers have breached credit card systems at some — if not all — of the Trump Hotel Collection properties."
These properties include at least Trump International Hotel New York, Trump Hotel Waikiki in Honolulu, and the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto."We are in the midst of a thorough investigation on this matter,” a representative from Trump Hotels told Krebs in a written statement. “We are committed to safeguarding all guests’ personal information and will continue to do so vigilantly.”
The hack may have a connection to a previous cyberattack against Trump in October, when several of the same hotels were targeted, as well as Trump SoHo in New York and Trump Internationals in Chicago and Las Vegas. According to the Trump Hotel Collection company website, malware was used to copy customers' credit card information at payment terminals between May 2014 and June 2015. An independent investigator did not find evidence of the card data being taken from the system, but Trump Hotels offered one year of free fraud resolution and identity protection services to all customers who used a payment card at one of the affected hotels during the time of the hack.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for this latest attack or made any political motive publicly known, but there's reason to suspect that the hacktivist group Anonymous is behind it. The group uploaded YouTube videos last month declaring "total war on Donald Trump," though there was no information detailing specific plans.
However, as Krebs points out, the hotel industry has been victim to cyberattacks for several years now. Hackers have hit Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood, and White Lodging hotel properties all within the last two years, primarily through payment systems at hotel restaurants and gift shops. The latest attack on Trump could be a continuation of this trend on targeting upscale hotel chains, rather than a specific target against the mogul himself. Trump's branding as an extraordinary businessman isn't likely to be greatly affected by the news of the security breach, but the repercussions for the company could be severe if these hacks persist.