IHG confirms reason for extended ‘website maintenance’ – HACK

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which operates hotels under different brands from Holiday Inn Express to Six Senses, today confirmed the reason for its two-day total system outage.

IHG acknowledges that it has been pirate instead of going through “scheduled maintenance” (according to the notice posted on its website), resulting in a complete disruption of their IT infrastructure.

You can access IHG here.

READ MORE: IHG One Rewards Rates and Bonus Points Offers

Statement from IHG:

Unauthorized access to technological systems

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG or the Company) advises that portions of the Company’s technology systems have been subject to unauthorized activity. IHG’s booking channels and other apps have been significantly disrupted since yesterday, and it’s continuing.

IHG has implemented its response plans, is notifying relevant regulatory authorities, and is working closely with its technology providers. External specialists have also been hired to investigate the incident.

IHG is working to fully restore all systems as soon as possible and to assess the nature, extent and impact of the incident. We will support hotel owners and operators as part of our response to the ongoing service disruption. IHG hotels are still able to operate and take reservations directly.

Another update will be provided as needed.

We don’t know how support works for hotel owners when their internal systems are down, no one answers the phone for their internal support, or they are ringing busy?

How will IHG help customers who cannot cancel or change their reservations, especially those who have similar cancellation policies, online or through contact centers and who may incur charges by hotels?

IHG has already lost bookings for two days, which is a disaster, given that booking windows have shortened dramatically due to the pandemic.

Customers and business travelers book at the last minute and not months/weeks in advance. You cannot currently book IHG-affiliated hotels other than by calling the individual hotels directly.

If you are an IHG One Rewards status member, hotels cannot access their internal systems to verify your status for Elite benefits.

IHG is also very quiet about the nature and extent of this hack, but given that the systems are soon down for two days, it must be quite invasive.

Our previous IHG “Maintenance” coverage

Interruption IHG on September 5, 2022

Total IHG system outage continues for second day

Conclusion

IHG finds itself in a very unfortunate situation, and if customer data has been leaked (again), it can be expected to be fined hundreds of millions by authorities in various countries.

Hotels, which have mostly outsourced reservations to IHG, and its centralized call centers, are suddenly unable to handle them internally when they barely have enough staff to handle day-to-day operations.

You can’t even book IHG hotels through OTAs or travel agents, as those reservations normally go through or would go through IHG’s centralized systems which are currently down due to the hack.

IHG says its systems have been “significantly disrupted”, which is not true when they are fully offline and down. I would call it a complete meltdown instead.

Companies, not just IHG, haven’t taken data security seriously and haven’t invested enough in IT for years. There is usually a reckoning day, which for IHG was last Sunday.

I hope IHG and its outside partners can quickly clean up this mess, otherwise IHG hotels will soon be very quiet.

And why is there still no notice on IHG’s website or app about this hack beyond a press release?

About Jean R. Manzer

Check Also

Government to sell Air India subsidiaries – Sangri Today

Government to sell Air India subsidiaries: Sale process of AIASL and AIESL has started, last …