Massive Data Breach May Have Exposed Personal Information Of Up To 500 Million Marriott Guests
By Sharelle Burt
A data breach has exposed personal information belonging to millions of Marriott International guests after hackers illegally accessed their database.
Reservation data from the Starwood Hotels brand dating back to 2014 has been exposed. Out of the 500 million guests, 327 million guests could have their passport details, phone numbers, credit card, and email addresses out for the world to use. Marriott said they will alert affected guests starting today.
The company first learned of the potential hack back in September when an internal security tool sent an alert. After an investigation, they learned that the hack happened long before that. Soon after, they reported the incident and notified regulatory authorities. “We are still investigating the situation, so we don’t have a list of specific hotels,” spokesperson Jeff Flaherty said. “What we do know is that it only impacted Starwood brands.” With shares falling to six percent, Marriott said it is too early to predict the financial impact of the breach and that it shouldn’t affect their financial health long term. They are also working with insurance companies to access coverage.
Security breaches are the latest problem added to the list of travel worries. InterContinental Hotels Group and Hyatt Hotels Corp were victims of cyber attacks last year, exposing credit card information of guests at 41 properties in 11 countries. On Thursday, Dell announced they suffered a security breach earlier this month In September and close to 500 million Facebook users had their profiles hacked. In August, Business Insider released an article warning readers of 16 retail stores that may have had personal information stolen.
Back in 2017, credit agency Equifax reported that 143 million customers were affected by the breach, After further investigation, the company announced that over 146 million people had their name and date of birth exposed, and 145 million customers had their Social Security numbers released.