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The White Lodging hospitality management franchise, which operates more than 30 restaurants and 168 big name hotels including Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton and Westin disclosed that they suffered a data breach in 2013 exposing customer credit and debit card information, according to a report from Brian Krebs.

Banking industry representatives first reported detecting patterns of fraud with cards that had been used at Marriott hotels in Austin, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Louisville and Tampa since March 23, 2013, and the common thread was they were all managed by White Lodging.

Marriott officials confirmed that “one of its franchisees has experienced unusual fraud patterns in connection with its systems that process credit card transactions at a number of hotels across a range of brands, including some Marriott-branded hotels.”

“They are in the midst of the investigation and are in close contact with the banks and credit cards companies. We are working closely with the franchisee as they investigate the matter.  Because the suspected breach did not impact any systems that Marriott owns or controls, we do not have additional information to provide,” the statement continued.

White Lodging company officials told Krebs “an investigation is in progress, and we will provide meaningful information as soon as it becomes available.”

The breach is believed to be limited to systems for hotel restaurants and gift shops, and is said to not have affected data in networks used for the hotel’s booking systems, and could possibly be revealed to be similar to the the recent point of sale (PoS) compromises experienced by retailers Target and Neimam Marcus.

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