- The software provider behind some of the largest travel websites, Prestige Software, maintained a cloud database without a password. The unsecured database led to approximately 10 million accounts being available to view online to anyone who knew where to look.
- Prestige Software provides technology services to Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Sabre and other hotel reservation websites around the world. Information included credit card details, payment details and reservation details dating back to 2013.
- While there is no evidence the exposed information is being misused, travel website users should change their passwords on their accounts (our experts suggest enacting a passphrase), add two-factor authentication, freeze their credit, monitor their bank statements for any unusual activity and keep an eye out for phishing attempts.
- For more information, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center toll-free at 888.400.5530 or live-chat on the company website.
- For the latest on data breaches, visit the ITRC’s data breach tracking tool notifiedTM.
Subscribe to the Weekly Breach Breakdown Podcast
Every week the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) looks at some of the top data compromises from the previous week and other relevant privacy and cybersecurity news in our Weekly Breach Breakdown Podcast. This week, we look at the all too frequent event in the world of data – unsecured databases.
A Lack of Secure Online Databases
In the context of data protection, repeating the same mistake can have significant consequences. It is why cybersecurity professionals tend to focus on preventing data breaches. That requires them to continually adapt their strategies and tactics to match those of the treat actors who are frequently attacking company systems.
Securing online databases continues to slip away from cybersecurity teams. The software provider behind some of the world’s largest travel websites maintained a cloud database without a password, leading to 10 million accounts being available online for access by anyone who knew where to look.
Forensic researchers believe the available information dates back to 2013 and only relates to hotel reservations. While the information contained in the unsecured database could be used to commit several identity crimes and fraud, right now, there is no evidence the information has been copied and removed from the database. Also, right now, there are no reports of the data being used.
Software Provider Behind Large Travel Websites Leaves Database Unsecured
Prestige Software provides technology services to websites that many consumers may have used, including:
- Sabre (The reservation system used by American Airlines)
- Other hotel reservation websites & mobile apps
The cloud database was hosted in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) environment that included basic security protections. However, they were not configured. Prestige Software confirmed the database was open to the internet and is now secured.
Information Exposed Due to Unsecure Prestige Software Database
The information stored in the unsecured database included large amounts of personal information like full names, email addresses, national I.D. numbers and phone numbers of hotel guests. Additional information stored includes:
Credit card details: card number, cardholder’s name, CVV and expiration date
Payment details: total cost of hotel reservations
Reservation details: reservation number, dates of a stay, the price paid per night, additional requests made by guests, number of people, guest names and much more
What Impacted Consumers Need To Do
Consumers who have used these travel websites should assume that any information they shared since 2013 is in the wild and available to be misused in identity crimes, fraud and phishing schemes. Consumers should act as if they have already received a breach notice due to the unsecured database and take the necessary steps to protect their personal information.
- Change your passwords on the travel accounts to a longer, memorable passphrase. Make sure it is unique to the account. Do not use the same passphrase on more than only one account because it helps the bad guys.
- Add two-factor authentication.
- Freeze your credit, if you haven’t already, and monitor your credit card statements for unusual activity over the next few months.
- Keep an eye out for phishing attempts, especially related to any websites affected by this breach or other travel-related websites. Remember, the best protection is to never click on unsolicited links. If you are unsure, contact the company directly.
How It Impacts Prestige Software
For the company, the impacts of the lapse in cybersecurity could be significant. Prestige Software is based in Spain and subject to the European Union’s strict privacy and cybersecurity law, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Companies found to have failed to protect consumer information are subject to significant fines up to four percent of their annual revenue.
Also, companies that process credit cards are subject to self-regulations. The penalty for failing to comply with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards include, in some cases, a company losing the right to process debit and credit cards. It is surprising that we have to continue to remind companies of a simple fact: Companies are responsible for securing their cloud environments, not cloud platform providers like Amazon, IBM, Microsoft or any other cloud services companies. Cloud hosts will make basic tools available, but companies have to use them. Also, companies are still responsible for patching their applications and maintaining their advanced cybersecurity tools.
For information about recent data breaches, consumers and businesses should visit the ITRC’s new data breach tracking tool, notifiedTM. It is updated daily and free to consumers. Organizations that need comprehensive breach information for business planning or due diligence can access as many as 90 data points through one of the three paid notified subscriptions. Subscriptions help ensure the ITRC’s identity crime services stay free.
Contact the ITRC
If you believe you have been affected by the Prestige Software database exposure and want to learn more or think you’re the victim of an identity crime, contact the ITRC at no-cost by calling 888.400.5530 or by live-chat on the company website. Also, download the free ID Theft Help App to access resources, a case log and much more.
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