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Trump Hotels Breached: Is Your Corporate Card Safe?

  • By Andrew Deichler
  • Published: 7/2/2015
Trump TowerDonald Trump’s luxury hotel chain apparently incurred a credit card breach, security blogger Brian Krebs reported. Several banks have traced a pattern of fraudulent debit and credit card activity to accounts used at Trump hotels.

Trump’s hotels have been host to many treasury and finance events, most recently the CTC Corporate Treasurers Forum at the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago and the EuroFinance International Cash and Treasury Management conference at the Trump National Doral Miami. Treasury and finance professionals who attended these events are advised to check their cards for fraudulent activity.

Reports indicate that this breach may date back to February 2015. The Trump Hotel Collection appears to be the latest victim in a “long string” of breaches involving hotel brands, Krebs explained. In March, the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain acknowledged a breach, and a month later White Lodging admitted to being hit for the second time in 12 months.

Brad Deflin, president and co-founder of Total Digital Security and a speaker at the CTC Corporate Treasurers Forum in Chicago, told AFP that hotels are a prime target for fraudsters because they are typically unprepared. Therefore, corporate treasury and finance professionals who use corporate cards at hotels, as well as devices that connect to company networks, need to take precautions. “It's essential to use a VPN when on Wi-Fi, especially in hotels and airports,” he said.

Krebs believes that the recent spike in card breaches in the United States is in anticipation of banks issuing more cards that contain chips that are nearly impossible to clone. The catch is that these cards can still be cloned as mag-stripe cards and used at retail locations that still swipe cards at the point-of-sale, i.e., virtually all retailers in the U.S.

Although the EMV liability shift kicks in this October, many retailers do not see the value in adopting chip terminals.

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