Data Breach Exposes 500 Million Marriott Customer Files

Robert BuheckerData BreachesLeave a Comment

Marriott Hack Affects 500 Million

The Scope of the Starwood Hotels Hack

If you’ve stayed at any branch of Marriott Starwood Hotels since 2014, you might want to check your credit statements and other accounts. On Nov. 30, 2018, Marriott issued a statement informing guests that up to 500 million guests could have been affected in a breach. The company announced in their statement that the breach has been ongoing since 2014.

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Marriott discovered that the hack occurred when someone copied and encrypted guest information. The company stated that they are working to remove the information. However, it might be too late. Unfortunately, the breach affected all 30 branches of the Marriott – Starwood brands. These hotels include Aloft, Marriott, Westin, Ritz Carlton, Courtyard, and many more.

What Hackers Took in The Breach

Similar to other breaches, the hackers gained access to names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest account information, birth dates, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation dates and communication preferences. Hackers also gained access to credit card numbers and expiration dates of some guests, too.

How Marriott Could Have Prevented This

Marriott’s president and CEO Arne Sorenson apologized for the hack in a statement, saying, “We deeply regret this happened. We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves. We are doing everything we can to support guests and using lessons learned to be better moving forward.”

The first step to stopping a data breach or leak is prevention. One way Marriott could have prevented the copying and encryption of guest information is with an encrypted hard drive. A SecureDriveBT or SecureUSB BT would have prevented this from occurring, . with geo-, time-fencing abilities, remote wipe, and remote user authentication. Data would have been protected.

Marriott’s president and CEO Arne Sorenson apologized for the hack in a statement, saying, “We deeply regret this happened. We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves. We are doing everything we can to support guests and using lessons learned to be better moving forward.”

Possible Consequences for The Starwood Data Breach

Stephane Nappo, once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and a few minutes of a cyber-incident to ruin it.” Due to the breach, Marriott might face a large financial penalty due to the European Union’s GDPR. This means that the Starwood hotel chain could pay up to four percent of its previous year’s global income which would result in an $8,040,000 fine for the company or 20 million Euros which equals $22,734,500.00. Since the GDPR fine is greater than what Marriott would have to pay based on their revenue, it is more likely that Marriott will need to pay the twenty-two million.

Are You The Victim of a Data Breach?

First, it is important to change all and any passwords to your accounts when a breach happens. This will help mitigate some of the risks of unauthorized access. Second, place a credit alert on your accounts and check your statements for any signs of fraud.

Contact us today for a free phone consultation at 1-800-288-1407 if you’ve been part of a data breach or are a victim of a data breach.