Economy

Million Passport Numbers Exposed, but Fewer People Impacted Than Initially Reported

Million Passport Numbers Exposed, but Fewer People Impacted Than Initially Reported”

"As we near the end of the cyber forensics and data analytics work, we will continue to work hard to address our customers' concerns and meet the standard of excellence our customers deserve and expect from Marriott", Arne Sorenson, Marriott's president and chief executive, said in the statement. The Starwood reservations database includes the Starwood brands W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Element Hotels, Aloft Hotels, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton and Design Hotels. The company "has concluded with a fair degree of certainty that information for far fewer than 383 million" people was involved, adding there are multiple records for the same guests in that database.

All of the compromised information came from a guest database belonging to Marriott's Starwood subsidiary. Of those, 354k of the cards were still unexpired by September 2018. The company also noted that while 383 million is the upper limit of records that may have been compromised, that doesn't mean all 383 million records and guests definitely had their passport numbers or payment information compromised.

After consulting internal and external investigators, the world's largest lodging company now believes that no more than 383 million customers - and probably fewer - had their data exposed to unauthorized parties, Marriott said Friday in a statement.

- Marriott says fewer guest records than originally thought were accessed during a data security breach reported previous year but did confirm there was unauthorized access to millions of passport numbers during the incident. Perhaps most troubling, some 5.25 million of those stolen passport numbers were not encrypted. There is no evidence at this time that the hacker was able to access the master decryption key for the encrypted numbers.

In addition, the hotel company said the number of payment cards and passport numbers exposed as part of the hack was "a relatively small percentage of the overall total records involved".

"There is no evidence that the unauthorized third party accessed either of the components needed to decrypt the encrypted payment card numbers", according to Marriott. The US call center number is 1-877-273-9481.

Finally, Marriott now believes around 8.6 million encrypted payment cards were impacted by the data breach. Marriott already created a dedicated website and call center about the data base hack.

A clearer picture is emerging of the massive data breach that Marriott International Inc. disclosed in November. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®.



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