Malware affecting payment terminals all over the world is becoming a real plague, and also shows why credit card payments are an insecure method of transferring value. The most recent malware infection was found on payment terminals owned by Hyatt Hotels, and visitors are advised to keep a close eye on their credit card statements over the next few months. Bitcoin easily could have prevented all this, but some people will only learn this lesson the hard way.
Hyatt Hotels Warn About Credit Card Information Theft
Being a major player in the hotel industry is all the more reason to ensure all of your payment security is up-to-date. Hyatt Hotels will be keeping a close eye on their payment terminals from now on, even though the damage has already been done. No information has been released as to how much data has been stolen due to this malware infection.
Payment terminals are an easy target for malware attacks, as it would be the last place anyone would look. To most people, including hotel staff, a payment terminal is a stand=alone device that poses no real threat unless somebody decided to skim credit cards. Nothing could be further from the truth, unfortunately, as these terminals operate on software, and are connected to the Internet [or a computer that is connected to the Internet].
Once such a payment terminal becomes infected with malware, all hell breaks loose. For Hyatt Hotels customers, this means credit card details have most likely been stolen, including the number, verification code, and expiry date. In some cases, the four-digit PIN code may have been breached as well, allowing hackers to empty customer’s cards by cloning the plastic payment method.
Hyatt Hotels recently discovered the malware installed on computers managing the payment terminals. According to a recent Reuters article, the malware had been detected on November 30, but no details were given as to how long the payment terminals had been infected for, nor how many customers have been possibly affected.
It is not the first time major hotel chains report issued with stolen credit card information due to malware attacks. Earlier this year, Hilton, Trump, and Starwood issued similar warnings, all of which were a direct result of payment terminals being affected. All of these chains have to start taking payment security more seriously or switch to alternate payment options like Bitcoin.
Bitcoin – Keeping Financial Details Safe Since 2009
Unlike credit cards, Bitcoin is not subject to malware attacks or user details being stolen. As a payment protocol, Bitcoin is far more secure than credit cards will ever be, as the end user is in full control of the vital piece of information that allows funds to be spent: their private key. With credit cards, all of the details are on the card itself, making it easier to steal details.
It only makes sense for retailers and brands to start accepting Bitcoin payments sooner or later. Bitcoin is a global currency, meaning anyone in the world can freely use it without worrying about exchange rates. Plus, the transaction costs are far lower, making it quite beneficial to the recipient as well.
Source: Tweakers (Dutch)