- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Trump Hotel Collection on Monday said it was investigating reports that hackers breached credit-card systems at certain properties owned and managed by the Republican Party front-runner for president.

Six months after Donald Trump’s chain of luxury hotels confirmed that computers at a handful of high-end properties had become infected with malware, three separate banking industry sources told cybersecurity reporter Brian Krebs this week that payment processing systems at Mr. Trump’s hotels in New York, Hawaii and Ontario, Canada, may have been recently hit by hackers.

“Sources said they noticed a pattern of fraud on cards that were all used at multiple Trump hotel locations in the past two to three months, including at Trump International Hotel New York, Trump Hotel Waikiki in Honolulu and the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto,” Mr. Krebs reported on Monday.

“We are in the midst of a thorough investigation on this matter,” the Trump Hotel Collection said in a statement. “We are committed to safeguarding all guests’ personal information and will continue to do so vigilantly.”

Last November, the presidential hopeful’s hotel company confirmed that malicious software was found on computers that handle credit-card transactions inside at least seven properties that had gone unnoticed for nearly a year.

Customers who used bank cards at those affected properties were offered a year of complimentary fraud and identity protection services by the hotel chain. The breach spawned a lawsuit filed by a St. Louis attorney who claimed “the root cause of the data breach was defendants’ failure to fix elementary deficiencies in their security systems, abide by industry regulations and respond to other similar data breaches directed at retailers.”

“Like virtually every other company these days, we are routinely targeted by cyberterrorists whose only focus is to inflict harm on great American businesses,” Eric Trump, Donald Trump’s son and an executive for family-run holding company that manages the hotel chain, said in a statement to CNET this week.

Chris Webber, a strategist for Centrify, a Silicon Valley-based security firm, told The Telegraph that reports of another breach are “not not surprising given the amount of public attention on Donald Trump himself, as well as the general fact that hotels are a popular target for attackers.”

“One thing we can be sure of is that Trump is a target for both hacktivists and financially-motivated attackers,” Mr. Webber said.

Indeed, individuals claiming allegiance with the politically-motivated hacking group Anonymous have repeatedly vowed to target Mr. Trump’s online entities.

The Canadian affiliate of Telecomix, an international hacktivist collective, took credit for defacing a portion of Trump.com less than two months after the billionaire businessman launched his presidential campaign.

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