BENCHMARK Notifies Customers of Payment Card Incident

The Woodlands, Texas (hospitalitybusinessnews.com)  February 24, 2017 –  BENCHMARK, a global hospitality company, is providing notice of a payment card incident that may have affected guests of the individually owned Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Doral Arrowwood, Eaglewood Resort & Spa, The Chattanoogan, Willows Lodge and Turtle Bay Resort properties that Benchmark manages.

After being alerted to a potential security incident at one of its managed properties, Benchmark initiated an investigation at that property and identified an unauthorized file designed to capture payment card information as it is routed through its payment processing system. Benchmark immediately hired a leading cybersecurity firm to assist with its investigation across all its properties. Findings from the investigation show that the malware – which searched for track data including cardholder name, payment card account number, card expiration date, and verification code – was installed on certain devices that process payment card transactions at certain Benchmark managed properties. A list of the specific time frames, and affected locations at each affected property is located at http://www.benchmarkglobalhospitality.com/protecting_our_guests/?fullsite=false. The website also contains more information on steps guests may take to protect their information.

Guests who used their card at an affected property location during an affected time frame are advised to remain vigilant to the possibility of fraud by reviewing their payment card statements for any unauthorized activity. Guests should immediately report any unauthorized charges to their card issuer because payment card rules generally provide that cardholders are not responsible for unauthorized charges reported in a timely manner. The phone number to call is usually on the back of the payment card.

Benchmark has taken measures to contain this incident and eradicate the malware. Benchmark continues to work with the cybersecurity firm to further strengthen its security measures including completing the implementation of point to point encryption and installation of EMV readers at its properties. Benchmark is also working with the payment card networks so that the banks that issue payment cards can be made aware and initiate heightened monitoring on the affected cards.

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