Radisson Hotels Customer Data Breached

By Cara Garretson, Veteran Business and Technology Journalist

Radisson Hotels & Resorts has posted an open letter to its guests, informing them of a recent data breach but offering little additional information.

The letter, dated August 19, says that between November 2008 and May 2009 some of Radisson’s computer systems in the U.S. and Canada were accessed without authorization.

It does not explain how the breach may have occurred.

Radisson hasn’t specified how many locations were compromised, though it says the number is limited.

The data that was accessed includes guests’ names and their credit card or debit card number and expiration date.

The hotel says it keeps this information on hand to secure reservations and to process charges at hotel outlets such as restaurants and gift shops.

For the most part, Radisson doesn’t know which guests were affected by the breach, though it states definitively that no Social Security numbers were accessed.

Guests whose information was known to be accessed were sent letters reporting the breach.

The hotel chain learned about the breach from credit card companies and processors.

Radisson says it is working with law enforcement officials, but since the investigation is ongoing, the company is sharing few details about the breach.

The investigation is also the reason why the company did not inform guests sooner, according to a frequently asked questions document about the incident on the company’s Web site.

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