Hard Rock Hotel and Casino warns of possible payment card hack

Names, card numbers and CVV codes were exposed over an eight-month period

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, a 640-room hotel in Las Vegas, has warned payment cards may have been compromised over an eight-month period ending early last month.

Law enforcement has been notified, and the attack has been stopped, according to a notice on its website. The company is notifying customers, and its notification letter has been posted on the website of California's Attorney General.

The information that may have been stolen includes names, credit and debit card numbers and CVV codes. PIN numbers were not compromised.

The hotel said the card details were exposed between Sept. 2, 2014 and April 2 this year. It affected transactions made at restaurants, bars and retail shops inside its large facility, but not the hotel and casino.

Retailers across the U.S. have been battling attacks aimed at point-of-sale systems that process payment card transactions. Target, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus and others have said their systems were infected with malware.

The malware, known as RAM scrapers, collect unencrypted card details after a card is swiped. The details briefly sit in the memory of the processing system, where the malware grabs them and eventually sends the information to a remote server.

Security experts have recommended that retailers should move to more robust systems using point-to-point encryption to protect transactions, but such upgrades can be expensive.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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