Talk about adding insult to injury. Days after a report from the New York Times exposed Donald Trump Jr. as lying about having never met with Russian government affiliated individuals, it has now come out, as the Washington Post reported, that guests at Trump hotels over the past almost twelve months have had their credit card information stolen.
The security systems breach did not affect the computer systems of the Trump Organization itself. Rather, it affected the computer systems of a third party booking software company known as Sabre Hospitality Solutions.
Peter W. Singer, a senior fellow at the centrist New America Foundation think tank, made grim conclusions about the connections of the theft of Trump Organization-owned hotel guests’ personal data and the fact that the figurehead of the Trump Organization, Donald Trump, is in the White House.
After calling the Trump Organization a “highly symbolic target” for a hack, he went onto note that the Trump Organization likely became increasingly attractive to hackers in recent months because of the high volume of high profile individuals staying at the properties. These individuals include foreign government individuals seeking to curry favor with the president and domestic officials of the Republican Party, who might as well be said to have been doing the same.
The just-announced data theft began in August 2016 — long after Trump had officially secured the Republican presidential nomination — and the last unauthorized access of the data systems took place in March of this year.
Other hotel chains were affected by the Sabre hack, including, according to a Sabre spokesman, 11 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino properties and 21 Loews Hotels. This spokesman added that “less than 15 percent” of the reservations made through their company’s systems were affected by the hack. 14 Trump Organization-owned properties, including ones in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Vancouver, Canada were affected.
The Trump Organization has been affected by hacks multiple times in the past. These instances include one, back in 2014-2015, that ended with the Trump Organization paying a $50,000 fine to the state of New York for failing to promptly notify affected parties of the data breach. They waited some four months to issue a statement about that hack, which did affect Trump Organization computer systems directly.
This time around, the Trump Organization was more prompt. Their statement about the hack, as posted to their website, states that they were informed of the data breach at Sabre on June 5, about a month ago. They say that they are “working with Sabre to address this issue,” adding that “the privacy and protection of our guests’ information is a matter we take very seriously.”
The Trump Administration’s statement goes on to remind affected individuals of steps to take to ensure their financial security, including regularly monitoring their financial statements for any unusual activity.
The Trump Organization is currently under the executive control of Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. The two brothers took over the organization as a part of their father’s less-than-optimal plan to ensure that no conflicts of interest weighed on his activities as president.
Featured Image via Albin Lohr-Jones/Pool via Bloomberg