Hotel booking firm exposes data on "millions" of guests

Reservation platform used by Hotels.com, Booking.com and Expedia left sensitive data exposed on a misconfigured AWS S3 bucket

The homepage of the official website for Hotels.com, a site for booking hotel rooms online,

Prestige Software, a hotel reservation platform used by Hotels.com, Booking.com, and Expedia, left data belonging to “millions” of guests exposed on a misconfigured Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 bucket.

According to Website Planet, the highly-sensitive information dates back as far back as 2013. It reports that the Spanish company, which sells a channel management platform called Cloud Hospitality that allows hotels automate their availability on online booking websites, was storing years of hotel guest and travel agent data without any protection in place.

As a result, Prestige Software exposed over 10 million individual log files in total. Each of these records exposed sensitive and personally identifiable information (PII), including names, email addresses, national ID numbers, phone numbers, reservation information, and credit card details, including CVV and expiration date.

Website Planet reports that the S3 bucket contained over 180,000 records from August 2020 alone, despite global hotel bookings being at an all-time low for this period.

However, it's difficult to say how many people were affected due to the amount of data exposed. The report notes the actual number of people exposed could be much higher than the number of reservations logged as many of the data logs contained PII data for numerous people on one booking.

While the scope of the data breach remains unknown, it could lead to all too common risks with hotel data exposures, such as credit card fraud, identity theft, and phishing scams. Perpetrators could even use the data to steal someone else's reservation.

Website Planet said the hole was closed a day after telling AWS about the exposure, adding that Prestige Software confirmed it was the owner of the data and the party responsible for the leak.

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Due to the fact that Prestige Software is based in Spain, with offices in Madrid and Barcelona, the company could face GDPR action as a result of the breach. If it failed to follow the strict rules set out within the legislation, which includes a requirement to report the breach within 72 hours, the company could be fined €20 million (about £18 million) or 4% of annual global turnover.

Earlier this month, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) hit Marriott International with an £18.4 million fine for a data breach that affected 339 million guest records worldwide.

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