HappyHotel, a Japanese search engine similar to Booking.com has admitted it recently suffered a major security breach.
The hacked booking site lets users find and secure a room at a ‘love hotel’. This is a type a venue popular throughout Asia, especially Japan, where couples can rent a room for a few hours or a night, allowing them privacy for sexual activities.
Almex, the company behind HappyHotel, said in a statement made via its website that it had detected an unauthorised intrusion on its servers on the 22nd of December. The company said the hackers appeared to have stolen a considerable amount of sensitive data during the attack.
The compromised data includes details such as real names, email addresses, login usernames and passwords, date of birth, gender information, phone numbers, home addresses and payment card details.
In response to the incident, Almex has suspended the website and posted a notice about the breach.
“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and anxiety that may have caused our customers and other concerned parties,” Almex management said. “The service has been suspended because we are currently investigating the cause and taking measures.
“This password may have been leaked at this time, so if you use the same e-mail address and password as those of other companies’ services, please change the password.”
The company also shutdown Loveinn Japan, another love hotel search engine it managed. However, this second site did not feature a data breach notice, and Almex has not indicated whether or not the hackers lifted data from the site.
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According to ZDNet, which in collaboration with a Japanese threat intel company performed a search for the data, said the information does not appear to have been shared online at this time.
Like the notorious 2015 Ashley Madison data breach, those affected by this hack could face online blackmail and extortion attempts and run the risk of being exposed for having extramarital affairs.
As a result of the Ashley Madison incident, some users committed suicide due to the distress caused.