Archives for posts with tag: Brian Krebs on security

Due to a technical error, this update was published yesterday without the body of the blog.


I previously shared Brian Krebs’ story about a major data breach at numerous hotels under the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). Mr. Krebs reported that on Friday, February 3rd, IHG confirmed that the breach had happened at 12 hotels around the United States. As he reported, IHG said the data that was stolen is from credit cards used at the restaurants and bars at these hotels but not from credit cards used at the front desks of the hotels.

Mr. Krebs has included a list of the 12 hotels in his article which I urge everyone to read since the IHG parent company includes Holiday Inns among many other brands (

Anyone who has stayed at one of the listed hotels needs to be extra diligent in checking credit card statements for any suspicious activities.



Bah humbug! 2016 is ending with more bad news about data breaches — this one involving a major hotel chain. Brian Krebs just reported about a possible credit and debit card breach at one of the brands operated by the Inter-Continental Hotels Group. He was alerted by security experts about a pattern of fraudulent credit and debit card transactions particularly with cards used by consumers at Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express at U.S. locations (

This is very worrisome as Mr. Krebs reports since the Inter-Continental Hotels Group is the parent corporation for over 5,000 hotels in the United States and around the world. Some of their other brands include Kimpton Hotels, Crowne Plaza and the Inter-Continental Hotels.

Mr. Krebs notes that consumers whose credit and debit cards are fraudulently used are not responsible for those charges but consumers must report such unauthorized transactions ASAP to their respective credit and debit card companies.

So anyone who’s stayed at a Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express — or any other the other Inter-Continental Hotels Group brands — must be vigilant about checking bank and credit card statements.

I’ll end 2016 on a possibly foolishly optimistic note — here’s hoping 2017 brings better protections for consumers and fewer privacy and data breaches.

Brian Krebs published an article alerting consumers that the Kimpton Hotel chain is investigating a data breach at its hotels ( It appears that thieves have stolen credit card information from multiple locations of this hotel.

So this is a “heads up” alert for anyone who has stayed at a Kimpton Hotel over the last few months. Read Mr. Krebs article and — as always in these situations — keep a very close tab on your credit card charges.

There is yet another alert about the Adobe Flash Player.  Brian Krebs has posted a very helpful article about it so I’m sharing the link to his site.

He explains the problem and what needs to be done. As always, Mr. Krebs has provided a most timely and useful article.

Consumers already need to be careful when using their credit cards at various stores due to data breaches. That happened at Walmart and now Walmart shoppers have another reason to be extremely careful when shopping there.

Brian Krebs has posted a timely and important blog about Walmarts. He writes that skimmers have been found in some of the self-checkout lanes at some Walmart stores. So consumers using their credit cards at those locations may be at risk at having their credit card information stolen and used by criminals. (

Mr. Krebs notes that he had seen sales ads for skimmers built for the very same types of card terminals. Yes, that makes his blog even more important to read.

It also emphasizes the need for consumers to be ever more vigilant in checking for skimmers whenever they use credit or debit cards — whether in ATMs or in self-checkout lanes.

Brian Krebs has investigated yet the latest in a long line of scams (; “Deconstructing the $9.84 Credit Card Hustle”). The Better Business Bureau (BBB) issued a “scam alert” based on Mr. Krebs investigation (; “Watch Out for $9.84 Credit Card Charges).

As outlined by Mr. Krebs and the BBB, the latest scam involves the relatively small amount of $9.84 being charged on victims’ credit cards.  While the amount might be small the impact on consumers is huge as it means their credit card numbers have been stolen and are now compromised.  Why would the scammers pick $9.84?  Because they’re counting on consumers being too busy to check their credit card statements closely and to overlook this small of a charge.

The $9.84 charge will look as if it’s from a website — but one that the consumer won’t necessarily recognize.  Consumers who try to find out more by going to the web address will learn that it’s not the business website.  Instead, as BBB and Mr. Krebs report, it’s a generic page allegedly offering “Customer Support.”  That generic page instructs consumers that they can get a full refund by using either the listed phone number or email address.  The BBB article states that some consumers did call and were told they would get a full refund.  But BBB urges consumers not to assume the scammers are really going to do that.

What should consumers do if they find this charge on their credit card statement?  Immediately follow the BBB’s advice as follows:

  • Call your bank or credit card company and immediately contest the charge; and
  • Cancel the credit card that was used and get a new one.

And, of course, the key starting advice is to read credit card statements carefully.