Motel One Group's Swift Response Thwarts Ransomware Attack

Motel One Group’s Swift Response Thwarts Ransomware Attack

Europe’s Leading Hotel Operator Takes Immediate Action to Protect Customer Data.

Initial investigations into the cyberattack revealed that the hackers could only gain access to a portion of customer data including approximately 150 credit cards.

Motel One Group, one of Europe’s largest hotel operators, recently experienced a cybersecurity breach (a ransomware attack) that has raised concerns about data security in the hospitality industry.

Although the identity of the perpetrators remains unknown, initial investigations suggest a ransomware attack was attempted. The threat actors targeted Motel One Group’s internal systems, potentially exposing sensitive information to cybercriminals.

Fortunately, the company’s rapid response and comprehensive security measures helped contain the situation, preventing any significant impact on its business operations.

Motel One stands as a prominent player in the hospitality industry, offering affordable accommodations across an extensive network of more than ninety hotels, boasting a total of 25,000 rooms. These budget-friendly options are available in various countries, including Germany, Austria, the UK, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the United States.

Customer Data Breach

Initial investigations into the cyberattack revealed that the hackers gained access to a portion of customer data. This data included details from approximately 150 credit cards. While this incident is undoubtedly concerning, Motel One Group has emphasized that it is committed to addressing the issue responsibly and ensuring the affected customers are duly informed and protected.

Motel One has become the target of a hacker attack. Address data of customers was accessed, including 150 credit card details. Those affected were informed. Business operations were never at risk. IT security, investigation & data protection authorities are involved.

Motel One

Commenting on this, Jamie Ahktar, co-founder and CEO at CyberSmart appreciated Motel One’s response to the incident. “Although there’s no such thing as a ‘good’ data breach, Motel One has demonstrated exactly what a business should do when hit with one. First of all, the preventative measures the chain had in place stopped this from transforming from a serious incident to a catastrophic one.”

“On top of this, the company engaged IT experts to investigate and remediate the breach and notified data protection authorities and customers within hours of its discovery. This suggests that Motel One had (and actioned) a well-thought-out incident response plan – something we urge all businesses to have in place,” Ahktar added.

Erich Kron, security awareness advocate at KnowBe4 advised that although cybercriminals managed to steal a small portal of data, customers should be on the lookout for social engineering attacks through text messaging, emails, or even perhaps phone calls.

“It is common for ransomware actors to attempt to steal data as well as encrypt files throughout the network. In this case, it appears their success was very limited and only managed to scrape the credit card information for a small number of guests,” Kron said.

“It is important to understand that while credit card information tends to be a focus for victims of breaches such as this, the other information that was stolen could possibly be used by bad actors to create very targeted social engineering attacks, such as email phishing,” Kron emphasised.

A Strong Emphasis on Data Security

In the wake of the breach, Motel One Group’s CEO, Maria Müller, issued a statement regarding the incident, saying, “We deeply regret this breach of customer data and are fully committed to ensuring the safety and privacy of our guests. We are taking all necessary steps to strengthen our cybersecurity defences and to assist those affected by this incident.”

Reassuring Customers

In addition to cooperating with law enforcement agencies and cybersecurity experts, Motel One Group is actively communicating with affected customers. The company is notifying individuals whose credit card information may have been compromised and is offering assistance to help protect them from potential fraud.

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