IHG Communication To Owners & Hotels About System Outage Due To Hack

IHG experienced a complete system outage that lasted more than 48 hours, starting at 9 PM ET on Sunday. System functionality started to recover late Tuesday.

We have already covered IHG’s communication to the press and consumers trying to access its website. Now, we have received a copy of IHG’s communication to hotel owners and properties on September 7.

You can access IHG here.

READ MORE: IHG One Rewards Rate & Bonus Points Offers

Note that IHG’s systems have mostly recovered now; booking, amending, and canceling reservations appear to work, as does managing the IHG One Rewards account.

Previous Hack Coverage:

IHG’s Communication To Hotels:

OWNER AND HOTEL Q+A — as at 07 09 22

Parts of IHG’s technology systems have been subject to unauthorized activity. IHG’s booking channels and other applications have been significantly disrupted since 5 September, and this is ongoing.

We have implemented response plans, are notifying relevant regulatory authorities and are working closely with our technology suppliers. External specialists have also been engaged to investigate the incident.

We are working to resolve the significant service disruption impacting the ability for guests to book on our website and mobile app and contact our Reservations & Customer Care (RCC) call centers around the globe. These network issues are also impacting internal systems including Merlin and other IHG applications. Our teams are working as quickly as possible to address the issues and restore service.

Below is some guidance that supports your property/properties to take bookings and liaise with guests:

What is the workaround for us while the service disruption is taking place?

• Please refer to the emergency downtime guide which should be located in your locally developed crisis management plan and follow the manual operation protocol.

Are channels still able to take bookings?

• All of IHG’s direct channels and some indirect channels are currently unable to take reservations.

• Booking.com are still able to take reservations based on cached rates and availability (up to a maximum of 9 rooms per room type or the current available room count whichever is lower). In these instances, they will send the booking confirmation over email directly to the Hotel. The hotel has to manually enter these reservations into the PMS. Once the reservation has been sent through via email, Booking.com will not send these through connectivity (once the systems are up and running). Any amendments, changes, cancellations for these reservations will be communicated to the Hotel directly via email. Hotel needs to monitor these manual bookings and contact the Market Manager at the appropriate time to stop selling the Hotel to ensure that they are not overselling the Hotel.

• The Global Distribution System (GDS) will not receive rates and availability at this time, therefore the guest should contact the hotel directly to make the reservation.

Can my hotel make or cancel bookings for guests using IHG One Rewards points (IVANI)?

• Bookings made using IHG One Rewards points can only be made or amended by the guest directly via IHG.com or the IHG One Rewards app which are currently not available.

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IHG’s Press Release:

Unauthorized access to technology systems

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG or the Company) reports that parts of the Company’s technology systems have been subject to unauthorized activity. IHG’s booking channels and other applications have been significantly disrupted since yesterday, and this is ongoing.

IHG has implemented its response plans, is notifying relevant regulatory authorities and is working closely with its technology suppliers. External specialists have also been engaged 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 be supporting hotel owners and operators as part of our response to the ongoing service disruption. IHG’s hotels are still able to operate and to take reservations directly.

A further update will be provided as and when appropriate.

IHG’s Communication To Consumers:

A message to our guests: At this time, you may have challenges booking a new reservation, accessing information about your upcoming reservations and accessing your IHG One Rewards account. We’re working to restore all service as soon as possible. If you have an urgent request for an upcoming stay or need to make an urgent reservation, you can call the hotel directly to make, amend or cancel a booking. Thank you for your patience.

Conclusion

I find it quite interesting that Booking.com was able to continue selling IHG-affiliated hotels, and these reservations were sent to properties by email.

It is still unclear how IHG will handle reservation cancellations that IHG members were unable to complete during the outage, such as rewards those that even properties were unable to touch, per the information above.

It is still unclear to us (hopefully not to IHG) what exactly was breached and if hackers were able to access any sensitive guest information, such as credit card numbers.

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