Published on Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Blackmail fears as Japanese 'love hotel' booking site hacked

A Japan-based hotel platform says it suffered a data breach before Christmas, and apologised to customers for personal data being compromised.

However it could become more problematic for past guests than a normal data breach as hotel search engine HappyHotel specialises in short-time 'love hotel' bookings.

This could leave guests vulnerable to potentially damaging blackmail threats, although there is no evidence of this yet.

The company said data which may have been accessed includes email addresses, telephone numbers, home addresses, date of birth and credit card information.

"We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and anxiety that may have caused our customers and other concerned parties. The service has been suspended because we are currently investigating the cause and taking measures," said HappyHotel parent company Almex.

The company also suspended booking operations for Loveinn Japan, another love hotel search engine.

Almex advised all registered customers to update their password information.

Some years ago the dating website Ashley Madison, which claims to facilitate 'discreet' affairs for married clients, suffered a damaging data breach which led to extortion emails to former customers and million- dollar lawsuits.


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