If you’re planning a sunny getaway or a white Christmas make sure you haven’t booked anything at a Marriott hotel… in the past five years. Today, security experts announced a data breach affected 500 million guests at Marriott hotels. Since 2014 there has been unauthorized access to data at Starwoods hotels chain which Marriott acquired two years ago. This is one of the largest breaches in the past decade, read on to learn everything you need to know.
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What was leaked?
If you’ve booked a reservation at any Starwood Property between 2014 and September 10, 2018 your information may be compromised.
In September Marriott learned of this unauthorized access to the Starwood network. By November 19th the company was able to decrypt the stolen information and confirmed it came from the Starwood database.
Around 327 million of these guests have had personal data like names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers, Starwood Preferred Guest information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences leaked.
Regarding credit card data that Starwood had, they kept them under two layers of encryption. At this point Marriott stated it’s possible that the keys for both layers were taken.
For the rest of the 173 million guests involved the leaked data was limited to names, emails, and mailing addresses, but potentially other information.
The hotel chain did get out in front of the breach. You can read more details direct from the Marriott website here.
What can you do?
Marriott will be reaching out to affected customers starting today, November 30th, 2018. Despite this promise, watch out for phishing emails. Always double check any emails you get from them with their processing web page to ensure it was really them.
If you think you may have been affected, Marriott set up a separate website to process inquiries here along with a list of frequently asked questions.
Marriott is also offering a free annual WebWatcher subscription you can access here.
Other things you can do is change the passwords on your accounts. McAfee Total Protection makes this easy with their built in password manager. Plus with Safe Browsing on your side, you will sidestep attacks before they happen with clear warnings of risky websites. On top of all of this, McAfee Total Protection’s award-winning cloud-based threat analysis keeps you protected against viruses without slowing you down. With our 2 for 1 deal here you can give the gift of security this holiday season!