Marriott International announced a security breach that affected more than 500 million guests who made a reservation at Starwood Hotels and resorts. Marriott International acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts in the mid-2016.
Mariott identified about the intrusion on September 10, after receiving an alert form their internal security testing tool. They learned an unauthorized access to the Starwood guest reservation database in the United States.
The hotel chain then worked with security experts to determine the root cause and how long the hackers having access to the database, reads their breach notice.
According to the investigation, Marriott learned hackers gained unauthorized access to the Starwood network since 2014, they copied, encrypted information and taken steps to remove it.
On November 19, 2018, Marriott managed to decrypt the information and determined that the contents were from the Starwood guest reservation database and they working to identifying the duplicate information in the database.
Possibly the attackers exfiltrated approximately 500 million guests who made a reservation at a Starwood property. Among the exfiltrated 500 million guests data, 327 million of the guest records including the following information.
The details include name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences.
Some of the guest payment card information also exposed, but they are encrypted with Advanced Encryption Standard encryption (AES-128).
“We deeply regret this incident happened,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s President, and Chief Executive Officer. “We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves. We are doing everything we can to support our guests, and using lessons learned to be better moving forward.”