Security Breach in Donald Trump’s Hotel Chain

Donald Trump’s hotel chain has agreed to pay $50,000 in fines over a security breach in the hotels’ data system, which exposed customers to a security threat. The hotel chain will also revamp its security policies due to 70,000 credit card numbers and personal information of customers being threatened, according to the New York Times.

security breach at Trump hotels

The Trump hotel in Las Vegas (Flickr / Creative Commons / Moyan Brenn)

The attorney general of New York, Eric T. Schneiderman, announced the settlement Friday, saying in a news release that banks who detected fraudulent activity last year traced back the last legal usage of the card to Trump hotels. This indicated that the security breach had occurred there. A deeper investigation found Trump hotels had malware and in 2014 an attacker gained unauthorized access to steal sensitive information.

Trump hotels allegedly knew about the security breach since June 2015, but it did not warn customers until nearly four months later, which the attorney general’s office said broke laws requiring expedient notification.

The attorney general said that failure to notify customers contributed to more exposure of personal data in November 2015, which was discovered in March.

During the Christmas season in 2013, Target stores had a security breach, which exposed 40 million people who used their credit or debit cards in a Target store between Black Friday and Dec. 15. Before this security breach, most people weren’t really concerned about the security of their credit and debit card information. In the end, Target agreed to pay $10 million to settle the class-action suit about the 2013 data breach. Target, like Trump hotels did here, also had to revamp their security systems.

While this is an action between the State of New York and the Trump hotels, we believe that individuals were harmed as well. It can be expected that some of those who credit card numbers were hacked, would have had secondary problems with their credit ratings. While not the easiest thing to put a damage number upon, we believe that those whose negligence harms individuals credit rating, should pay damages to such individual. Is a hotel that allowed such breach to continue for months after discovery negligent? We believe that admissible evidence of such negligence would get to a jury. If you have been harmed by this type of negligence, contact an attorney to learn what your rights are.

This case was not the only conflict between Trump and the New York attorney general, who is a democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter. He sued Trump in 2013, claiming that his for-profit educational programs at Trump University defrauded students. The attorney general’s office was also looking into Trump’s foundation. Last week, the Washington Post reported that Trump used $258,000 from his charity to settle lawsuits that involved his for-profit businesses.

The additional security requirements that Trump hotels is enacting is training its employees, assessing risks, and testing systems regularly. A spokeswoman for Trump hotels said that hackers have infiltrated almost every major hotel company. She also said that safeguarding customer’s data was a top priority.


Gordon Johnson

Attorney Gordon Johnson is one of the nations leading brain injury advocates. He is Past-Chair of the TBILG, a national group of more than 150 brain injury advocates. He has spoken at numerous brain injury seminars and is the author of some of the most read brain injury web pages on the internet.

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