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Breaking: Marriott Breach Affected Up to 500 Million Customers

Written by Charlie

Marriott has released information regarding a security breach that affects up to 500 million customers with varying amounts of information for these guests.

Wow – on the scale of breaches, this is a huge one that affects customers all over the world. Marriott has said that, on November 19, 2018, they found out that there was a breach of the Starwood system.

Breaking: Marriott Breach Affected Up to 500 Million Customers

Link: Marriott’s Statement

According to Marriott, “the investigation determined that there was unauthorized access to the database, which contained guest information relating to reservations at Starwood properties* on or before September 10, 2018.”

Here is what Marriott has to say about the breadth of this breach and what possible information was accessed:

“The company has not finished identifying duplicate information in the database, but believes it contains information on up to approximately 500 million guests who made a reservation at a Starwood property.  For approximately 327 million of these guests, the information includes some combination of 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.  For some, the information also includes payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates, but the payment card numbers were encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard encryption (AES-128).  There are two components needed to decrypt the payment card numbers, and at this point, Marriott has not been able to rule out the possibility that both were taken.  For the remaining guests, the information was limited to name and sometimes other data such as mailing address, email address, or other information.”

What Information is Impacted?

Here is the information that they say affects about 327 million guests, with some combination of the following:

  • 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
  • communication preferences

Credit Card Information?

For some, the information also includes payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates, but the payment card numbers were encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard encryption (AES-128).  There are two components needed to decrypt the payment card numbers, and at this point, Marriott has not been able to rule out the possibility that both were taken

This is still a breaking story and there will be many updates throughout the day as Marriott reps start speaking with the press. I will update as the story develops.

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

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