July 17, 2017
By: Steven Anderson
The hits just keep on coming for our new president—he’s only been on the job around six months now—and the newest one focuses on his line of hotels. Trump Hotel properties in Chicago, New York, Las Vegas and Washington DC were all on the firing line recently, and in the process, large amounts of data were left exposed.
Data exposed, according to reports, included credit card numbers with expiration dates, and standard identifiers like names, addresses and phone numbers. Fully 14 different hotels were involved in the breach, and this is the third time that Trump International Hotels have had a data breach happen since May 2015, reports note.
Interestingly, the breach didn’t have much to do with Trump International Hotels itself; rather, it was focused on the Saber Hospitality Solutions system used by not only Trump, but also 32,000 separate properties worldwide. Trump’s systems weren’t actually compromised, but the Trump records contained within Sabre were the target.
As for why Trump’s hotels have been attacked so frequently, several potential explanations have been brought forth. Potential reasons range from the obvious political statement to the less-obvious operations statement; hotels don’t often upgrade protective measures, making it easier on hackers.
It’s also possible this has nothing to do with politics; New America Foundation senior fellow Peter Singer notes that the pot is richer in recent months since more political figures—lobbyists, legislators and foreign dignitaries alike—have all been staying at Trump hotels in recent months. That makes the potential payoff from seizing the data of these highly-visible entities better in the process.
While the exact motivation may be unclear, it is clear that Trump hotel visits might be a bit more dangerous than the ordinary lately. So for those planning a trip involving a stay at one of the President’s fine properties, be sure to take a few extra precautions. Watch your credit card bills carefully, or consider reducing the amount of cash kept in the account linked to the debit card used to pay for the stay.
Simple precautions go a long way toward helping here. This won’t be the first data breach we see, nor will it be the last, and by being prepared now, we improve the chances of coming off better in the next one.