Marriott data breach may have affected 500 million guests at Starwood hotels

November 30, 2018 06:40 PM

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) - Marriott says the information of as many as 500 million people staying at Starwood hotels has been compromised.

The company says it's uncovered unauthorized access that has been taking place within its Starwood network since 2014.

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Marriott says back in September the company discovered that someone copied and encrypted guest information, and was trying to remove it.

It says things like addresses, phone numbers, email accounts, birth dates and passport information may have been taken.

After a two month investigation Marriott went public with the breach on Friday. New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood one of the first to launch an investigation into the breach, tweeting "new Yorkers deserve to know that their personal information will be protected."

Sean Phillips, a cyber security expert with GreyCastle Security in Troy says companies typically wait a couple of months before announcing a breach, saying they need to triple check to make sure it falls under the right classification.

"In looking into whether or not an incident is a breach they bring in forensics teams, they try to look into all the data, they try to double check and make sure that the information that was taken constitutes enough inside of the different regulations that would require them to declare a breach," said Phillips.

Phillips says with breaches happening on a regular basis there isn't much people can do to protect themselves. He says monitoring your cards and accounts is a must and people should also think about how much information they are willing to share online.

"Keep any information that you don't need to give them off the internet. it's, they're gonna find it somewhere else I'm sure, but the most you can reduce your footprint it's better for you," said Phillips.

Marriott has set up a website and call center for anyone who thinks that they are at risk.

MORE INFORMATION: Marriott data breach | Starwood guest reservation database security incident



Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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