500 million people had their personal information compromised in the latest Startwood Hotels data breach.
The Starwood Hotels are owned by Marriott International. Marriott suffered plunging stock prices after the data breach was made public in September of 2018. After discovering the Starwood Hotels data breach, Marriott determined that their systems had been compromised since 2014! Marriott had purchased Starwood in 2016, which leads us to believe that the data compromised began under Starwood ownership.
WHO is at risk?
Guests of the Starwood Hotels chain numbering nearly half a billion people had their personal information compromised. The hackers gained access to the victims phone numbers, data of birth, addresses (both physical and email), credit card numbers, passport numbers and more. For 327 million guests, passport numbers and payment details were most certainly copied by the attackers. According to the investigation report, there was no evidence that Marriott guest information was compromised.
WHAT should you do?
The Starwood Hotels data breach is one of the largest hacks of all time. Consider changing passwords for any Starwood Hotels online accounts that you have. In addition, pay close attention to your credit cards and personal accounts for suspicious activity.
- View the Starwood Guest Reservation Database Security Incident webpage at the Kroll security firm website (hired by Marriott).
- You can also call the Starwood data breach call center for direct assistance. In the U.S. that number is 1-877-273-9481.
- Check your email for correspondence from Marriott which began on November 30, 2018. This email will have instructions on what actions you can take.
- Consider enrolling in a LifeLock plan.
HOW did the Startwood Hotels data breach happen?
While the actual attack vector for this particular data breach is unknown, we do know that the hackers gained access to the Starwood Hotels reservation database. The company only learned about the breach after an alert was sent from one of their security tools on September 8, 2018. Only after further investigation was it known that the breach happened years before.
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