Another large data breach has come to the forefront of the world of news, with Marriott Starwood suffering a huge data breach. It is reported that details of up to 500 million hotel guests may have been exposed. This is the result of the reservation database being hacked.
The Marriott Starwood data breach will rank as the second largest data breach of its kind, only behind Yahoo, which suffered hacks that led to 3 billion people having their personal data exposed.
As a result of the news of the data breach, the pre-market trading shares of the Marriott slumped to 5.6%.
Affected areas of the Marriott Starwood business include Luxury London landmarks such as Park Lane Sheraton Grand, Westbury Mayfair and Le Meridien Piccadilly. These were among the properties that had been affected by the “data security incident”.
The personal details that may have been stolen include; passport numbers, birth dates, names, addresses and phone numbers of 327 million people. All of this information has been accessed by unauthorised parties since 2014. It is also thought that payment card numbers and also expiration dates of some customers may have also been hacked.
It is thought that the information taken with regards to the cards would be safe due to the two step method that requires two different factors to decode the encrypted information. However the company has stated that it is possible that the hackers may have been able to gather enough information in order to decrypt the card information.
The initial breach was discovered on the 8th September, when the company discovered that an unknown source had “copied and encrypted information, and took steps towards removing it”. As a result of this the hotel chain has created a specific website and call center in order to answer any questions regarding the incident.
Arne Sorenson, the Marriott’s president and chief executive stated “we deeply regret this incident happened”.
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