Saturday, August 23, 2008

Best Western Hotels Compromise: 8 Million Victims in World's Biggest Cyber Heist - UPDATE

Iain S. Bruce writes on The Sunday Herald:

An international criminal gang has pulled off one of the most audacious cyber-crimes ever and stolen the identities of an estimated eight million people in a hacking raid that could ultimately net more than £2.8billion in illegal funds.

A Sunday Herald investigation has discovered that late on Thursday night, a previously unknown Indian hacker successfully breached the IT defences of the Best Western Hotel group's online booking system and sold details of how to access it through an underground network operated by the Russian mafia.

It is a move that has been dubbed the greatest cyber-heist in world history. The attack scooped up the personal details of every single customer that has booked into one of Best Western's 1312 continental hotels since 2007.

Amounting to a complete identity-theft kit, the stolen data includes a range of private information including home addresses, telephone numbers, credit card details and place of employment.

More here.

Note: Of course, this isn't the "biggest" cyber theft incident -- that would be the TJX thefts with roughly 100 million credit cards stolen. -ferg

UPDATE: 20:27 PDT, 24 August 2008: Best Western Hotels has issued a statement saying that the claims their systems have been compromised is unsubstantiated. -ferg


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