3 area hotels affected by security breach
BY SAM CHARLES Sun-Times Media February 4, 2014 10:50AM
Updated: March 5, 2014 6:29AM
A Merrillville hotel and two hotels near Midway International Airport in Chicago were subject to a data security breach that spanned nearly nine months, White Lodging, which owns and manages hotels in 21 states, said Monday.
The Radisson Star Plaza in Merrillville, the Marriott Midway Hotel and the Holiday Inn Midway were among 14 White Lodging hotels across the country that reported breaches. Information on credit cards used in the hotels’ lounges and restaurants between March 16 and Dec. 20, 2013, may have been stolen, the company said in a statement Monday.
White Lodging, based in Merrillville, owns and manages 168 hotels under various brands in 21 states. It is a separate entity from specific hotel brands. Besides Chicago and Merrillville, White Lodging said the breach may have affected properties in Austin, Texas.; Richmond, Va.; Erie, Penn.; Louisville, Ky.; Plantation, Fla.; and Denver, Boulder and Bloomfield, Colo.
“Guests who used or visited the affected businesses during the nine month-period and who used a credit or debit card to pay their bills at the outlets might have had such information compromised and are encouraged to review their statements from that time period,” White Lodging said in a statement.
White Lodging said it is working with federal law-enforcement officials and the credit card companies and has initiated a review of all its properties.
White Lodging said it is arranging to offer a year of complimentary personal identity protection services to all affected cardholders and encouraged them to place a fraud alert on their files.
The extent of the breach may be greater at the Radisson in Merrillville. “At the Radisson Star Plaza in Merrillville, Ind., we suspect that the points of sale system at food and beverage outlets were affected as well as the property management system that manages hotel guests’ credit card information,” the statement said. Guests who made charges to their rooms during the nine-month period were not affected.
The cause of the breach was under investigation and hotel officials said more information would be released in the “near future.”