Chicago hotels are under siege from hackers and a $5 billion security breach could spell disaster for hotel owners.
The Chicago Tribune reports the hack, revealed by security firm Mandiant, has impacted the city’s hotels, which were among the top five to 20 most valuable properties in the United States last year, according to the American Institute of Architects, or AIA.
The report said the Chicago hotel owners were notified by their contractors last Friday, but it did not provide any details about what the information might have been about.
“This breach is a massive loss for hotel industry and is a stark reminder that cyber attacks are real,” AIA president and CEO Brian DePalma said in a statement.
“We expect the hotel industry to be the primary victim, as the threat of cyber attacks remains very real.
But we believe our recommendations to protect our guests and the value of our properties are far-reaching.”
The Chicago area, home to more than 4.4 million people, has seen record hotel occupancy levels for the year, which is the highest in decades.
The city’s most popular hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Chicago, has been shut down and some hotels in the South Loop, which encompasses much of the city, have been closed.
Mandalay Bay hotel in New York City and the Hyatt Regency in Los Angeles are among the more prominent hotels in California that are still open after a number of breaches were revealed in recent months.
The Ritz in Manhattan is among the largest hotel companies in the world and had reported record occupancy this year.
The Hyatt, which was the second-largest hotel company in the U.S. last year with 1.6 million rooms, reported its worst year since 2010, with losses of $11.2 billion, the report said.
The hotel industry was hit by the cyberattack earlier this month, when hackers broke into an internal database and stole data from several thousands of hotel guests’ credit card information.
The breach forced Marriott to suspend the use of credit card numbers for reservations for the remainder of the year.
It also led to the loss of the Hilton Worldwide Network.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses and the National Association of Home Builders also said the breach had caused significant harm to the industry.
The New York State Attorney General’s office is investigating the hack.
The city of Chicago reported $5.4 billion in hotel losses for the 2017 fiscal year, with $3.7 billion in losses from the breach, the Tribune reported.