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Marriott reports that 500 million could be impacted by a data breach

Posted at 6:16 AM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-30 21:40:49-05

Marriott announced Friday that a data breach exposed the personal information of an estimated 500 million guests in its guest database.

The hotel chain said it noticed the breach on Sept. 8, 2018 and began investigating the source afterward. That investigation uncovered that those responsible for the breach had first gained access to its network in 2014. In a news release, Marriott said that person copied, encrypted and removed personal information to millions who had booked hotels at Starwood Hotels properties.

That includes Marriott, Westin and Sheraton hotels, among others.

The company believes the following information was accessed:

  • Guest names
  • Date of birth
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Email address,
  • Passport number
  • Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) account information
  • Gender
  • Arrival and departure information
  • Reservation date, and communication preferences
  • For some, the information also includes payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates

The company said it”has not been able to rule out” that card numbers were leaked for approximately 327 million guests. For the rest of the 500 million,  “the information was limited to name and sometimes other data such as mailing address, email address, or other information.”

The company mentioned it has not finished identifying duplicate information in its system, but 500 million people is the approximate number of people affected.

Marriott reported that the company reached out to law enforcement and they are investigating the breach in addition to the company. Starwood will send out an email to affected customers Friday to notify them. If you do not receive an email and believe your information may have been accessed, click here or call 877-273-9481.

Marriott also said it is offering affected guests one free year of WebWatcher enrollment.

Other Starwood brands include W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Element Hotels, Aloft Hotels, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton and Design Hotels. The company said Starwood branded timeshare properties are also included.