Hotel Attacks

12 July 2016, Not terrorism, just yet another major hotel hack

Teri Robinson, Executive Editor of SC Magazine, penned an article on 12 July 2016 titled, “Malware on Omni Hotel POS systems scarfed payment card info.” It describes a point of sale (POS) hack of Omni Hotel and Resort’s Internet system. In the piece, Robinson quoted Omni as saying: “The malware was designed to collect certain payment card information, including cardholder name, credit/debit card number, security code and expiration date,” the Dallas-based company said, explaining that the investigation found no evidence that its reservation or Select Guest membership systems had been compromised. “There is no evidence that other customer information, such as contact information, Social Security numbers or PINs, were affected by this issue.” Omni has a website dedicated to hacking mitigation for its patrons here. Robinson wrote, “Customers that did not physically present a payment card at a POS system at an affected Omni location … Continue reading

1 June 2016, Mogadishu, Somalia

On 1 June 2016 at 5:45 pm, al Shabaab fighters attacked the Ambassador Hotel in Mogadishu, killing 13 and wounding 40, reports CNN. Al Shabaab used a car bomb at the hotel’s front gate to initiate the attack, followed by two or three gunmen armed with AK-47s that penetrated the hotel’s interior. Muir Analytics refers to this tactic as the “Mogadishu special.” Once inside, they continued fighting for 12 hours until the next morning on 2 June when Somali Special Forces (Gashan) engaged with and killed the fighters, reports the BBC. Scores of Somali lawmakers and investors were in the hotel at the time. The Ambassador is a popular socializing spot for these type personnel. The government was holding a conference at the hotel at the time of the attack, says The Guardian, in part to provide an update on the status of … Continue reading

15 January 2016, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

On 15 January, six terrorists from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) raided and occupied the 147-room, four star Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, killing 29 and wounding 56, reports the BBC and CNN. The hotel and nearby restaurants are popular with foreigners. The attack began at 7:30 pm and lasted 15 hours, says the Daily Mail. The victims were made up of more than 15 nationalities, at least 14 of which were foreigners. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on 19 January that three attackers were killed, and three remained at large, the latter of which were being pursued. It is not clear if the attackers approached the target in two vehicles or on foot, but what is clear is that they first attacked a café-restaurant called Cappuccino across the street from the Splendid Hotel on Avenue Kwame Nkrumah. All six terrorists … Continue reading

12 January 2016, Hurghada, Egypt

On 9 January, two terrorists armed with knives and reportedly a pellet gun attacked the Bella Vista Hotel and Resort in Hurghada, Egypt, reports the BBC. The Bella Vista is a three-star, beachfront hotel on the Red Sea. Hotel staff told the Associated Press that the terrorists approached the Bella Vista from the beach and a hotel next door. They had with them, says The Independent, a prominently displayed ISIS flag and an apparent explosive device, though it’s not readily clear if it was real or fake. The BBC says the duo was intent on kidnapping people. The terrorists managed to injure two Austrians and a Swedish citizen, Sammie Olovvson. Olovvson told the press he was sitting having dinner with his father when he felt someone grab him from behind and then plunge a knife into his upper left chest. He raised his … Continue reading

24 December 2015…not terrorism, but a common attack issue: Hyatt is hacked!

24 December 2015… (maybe) not terrorism, but a common attack issue: Hyatt is hacked! On 24 December, the BBC reported that Hyatt discovered malware on its payment processing system, which impacts 318 of its 627 properties. The former properties Hyatt manages directly. Franchisers manage the others. Chuck Floyd, President of Global Operations at Hyatt, said the company had repaired the problem and was urging customers to monitor their financial statements for fraud and the like. The company was tightlipped about any potential damage done, but it did say that it had hired outside consultants to strengthen its cyber security – reportedly FireEye and its Mandiant unit. Reuters says that Hyatt discovered the attack on 30 November, and that it was the fourth major hotel chain to have been hit by cyber attack since October this year. The other victims include Hilton, Starwood, and … Continue reading

20 November 2015, Bamako, Mali – Statement from Radisson on the ongoing attack

On 20 November, the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali, released the following statement regarding the terror attack that began there this morning and still continues: “HOSTAGE-TAKING AT RADISSON BLU HOTEL, BAMAKO / MALI MEDIA STATEMENT AND FAMILY SUPPORT TELEPHONE NUMBERS – 20 NOV 2015; 13:00 CET WE ARE CLOSELY FOLLOWING THE HOSTAGE-TAKING INCIDENT THAT IS TAKING PLACE AT THE RADISSON BLU HOTEL, BAMAKO / MALI TODAY, 20TH NOVEMBER 2015. ACCORDING TO OUR LATEST INFORMATION 124 GUESTS AND 13 EMPLOYEES ARE STILL IN THE BUILDING. OUR HIGHEST CONCERN IS THE SAFETY OF ALL OUR GUESTS AND EMPLOYEES IN THE HOTEL. WE ARE IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH THE AUTHORITIES THERE AND WILL SHARE FURTHER INFORMATION WITH YOU WHEN WE HAVE IT. WE HAVE ESTABLISHED DEDICATED PHONE LINES TO SUPPORT THE FAMILIES OF GUESTS AND EMPLOYEES, AS WELL AS A MEDIA ENQUIRY LINE. PLEASE REFER … Continue reading

20 November 2015, Bamako, Mali

A more detailed report and analysis on this hotel attack will be posted later, but a current summation of the immediate situation, mostly compiled by CNN, is as follows: Al Qaeda related terrorists attacked the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali, at 7 am (other reports say 6 am), 20 November 2015. Between 2-4 attackers arrived at the hotel in a car sporting diplomatic plates, bypassing security. They emerged from the car firing AK-47s and stormed the hotel. They also reportedly slit the throat of at least one hotel guest, says the military news website military.com. Initial estimates say 21 were killed and scores more were wounded. As many as 170 people (30 staff, 140 guests) were in the hotel at the time. A group called Al Mourabitoun, which is aligned with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), claimed responsibility. The attack … Continue reading

13 November 2015, ISIS Raid on Paris – the hotel connection

The ISIS raid on Paris on 13 November 2015 included seven targets, reports the BBC, mostly in the eastern portion of the city: 9:20 pm, suicide bomb attack, Stade de France 9:25 pm, gun attack on Rue Alibert, Le Carillon bar (and apparent budget hotel,) at 18 Rue Alibert 9:25 pm, gun attack, (same time/street as # 2,) Le Petit Cambodge restaurant 9:32 pm, gun attack on Rue de la Fontaine au Roi in front of the Cafe Bonne Biere and La Casa Nostra pizzeria 9:36 pm, gun attack on Rue de Charonne, La Belle Equipe bar 9:40 pm, suicide bomb on Boulevard Voltaire at Le Comptoir Voltaire restaurant 9:40 pm -12:20 am, gun and suicide bomb attack on 50 Boulevard Voltaire at the Bataclan concert hall Most of the gun attacks were reportedly by terrorists armed with AK-47s, grenades, and suicide vests. … Continue reading

14 October 2015, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, UK

On 9 October, Londonderry police confirmed that a suspicious item reportedly found in the parking lot of the Waterfoot Hotel was, in fact, a bomb, said the BBC. The Irish Times says that the device was “concealed in a hedge beside the Waterfoot Hotel.” The Waterfoot Hotel website is here. The hotel was evacuated just before noon, and the entrance was cordoned off, reports the Derry Journal. Police initially figured the item in question was a hoax bomb, but upon making it inert via a controlled explosion, they realized that it was a real explosive device. The presumed target was a police-recruiting event being held at the Waterfoot. A school formal was planned for the hotel that night – it was cancelled – and a wedding was scheduled for the next day, Saturday. There was also supposed to be a protest at the … Continue reading

27 September 2015, Philippines, Davao del Norte

On 22 September 2015, the Dispatch Times reported that approximately 11 men assailed the Holiday Oceanview Samal Resort in Davao del Norte province (Samal Island) in the Philippines, and kidnapped several people. The Associated Press describes the venue as an “upscale resort complex” and a top rated marina. The resort’s website and related videos show a marina where patrons can dock 50-foot sailboats, motorboats, and yachts, and then engage in tourist activities. The attackers, armed with pistols and assault rifles, arrived on two boats referred to as bancas (motorized outrigger boats) on Monday night, 21 September, at 11:23 p.m. They overpowered the resort’s security guards and seized four people. The attackers tried to abduct an American and his Japanese wife from their yacht, but the two broke free and escaped by diving into the water. Philippine authorities said the attackers spoke English, Visaya, … Continue reading