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Three data breaches hit Florida, one hits the feds

The data of some hotel guests, Best Buy shoppers, and people in University of Florida's computer system has been exposed; and a U.S. government travel site has also been breached.

Another day, another data breach.

If you bought something at a Best Buy store in West Palm Beach, Fla., late last year, or stayed at a Wyndham hotel in Florida last summer, or use a U.S. government travel Web site you might want to check your credit card statements closely.

Best Buy warned this week that 4,000 customers of a store in West Palm Beach may have had their credit card information stolen when they made their purchases.

The chain terminated the employment of a worker at the store after learning that a skimming device was used to steal data from the magnetic strips on credit cards last November and December, according to an advisory issued by Best Buy (PDF).

Best Buy said it learned of the data breach on January 5 and that the employee was taken into federal custody on January 7.

Also in Florida, Attorney General Bill McCollum urged people to monitor their credit statements and said up to 21,000 state residents may have been affected by a data breach at Wyndham Hotels last year.

Wyndham said in a frequently asked questions statement that it noticed unusual activity on one of its servers during a routine administrative review in September and discovered that data had been stolen in July and August by an attacker who penetrated the computer systems of one of the Wyndham hotels.

"By going through the centralized network connection, the hacker was then able to access and download information from several, but not all, of the other WHR properties and create a unique file containing payment card information of a small percentage of our WHR customers," a separate customer alert said. "The incident did not affect any of the other branded hotels in the Wyndham Hotel Group system...At this time, no criminal identity theft related to the use of the consumer data has been identified."

And the University of Florida this week said someone had penetrated the school's computer network, putting the data of 97,000 users at risk, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The school shut down the system when it discovered the cyber break-in last month and switched to a more secure system, officials said. It was unclear how the intruder got into the network, what data was exposed, or if any of it was stolen.

The U.S. government, meanwhile, is dealing with a breach of its own. The travel reservations and expense reimbursement Web site, Govtrip.com, used by numerous agencies and operated by defense contractor Northrop Grumman, was found to be redirecting visitors to a malicious Web site last week, according to NetworkWorld.

The redirected Web site delivered malicious software to the computers, but it was unclear exactly what the software did. The travel site was still down as of Friday afternoon.