|Attorney General Mark R. Herring, along with the attorneys general of 26 states, entered into a settlement with Sabre Corporation that resolves an investigation into the 2017 data breach of Sabre Hospitality Solutions’ hotel booking system. The breach exposed the data of approximately 1.3 million credit cards. The settlement requires a payment of $2.4 million, of which the Commonwealth of Virginia will receive $68,733.37 and injunctive relief.
“In this day and age, when almost all of our personal information is digitized, it’s so important for businesses to make sure they take the necessary precautions to keep that data protected,” said Herring. “I am glad we were able to secure this settlement and I hope it sends a message to any company that I will not tolerate any failure to keep Virginia consumers’ information protected and secure.”
Sabre Hospitality Solutions, a business segment of Sabre, operates the SynXis Central Reservation system, which facilitates the booking of hotel reservations. SynXis connects business travel coordinators, travel agencies, and online travel booking companies on one end to Sabre’s hotel customers on the other. On June 6, 2017, Sabre informed its hotel customers of a data breach that had occurred between August 2016 and March 2017, which the business had disclosed in a 10-Q SEC filing the month before. Notice to consumers was provided by the hotels, resulting in some notices being issued as late as 2018, and some consumers receiving multiple notices stemming from the same breach.
The settlement requires Sabre to include language in future contracts that specifies the roles and responsibilities of both parties in the event of a breach. It also requires Sabre to try to determine whether its customers have provided notice to consumers, and to provide the attorneys general a list of all the customers that it has notified. In addition, the settlement requires that Sabre implement and maintain a comprehensive information security program, implement a written incident response and data breach notification plan, implement specific security requirements, and undergo a third-party security assessment.
Joining Herring in the settlement are the attorneys general of Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Gene Fishel of Attorney General Herring’s Computer Crime Section prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth. In 2019, the Virginia Attorney General’s Office received 950 notices of database breaches involving Virginian’s personal information.
More information about security breaches and protecting yourself from identity theft can be found at www.ag.virginia.gov.