Not another one!

Marriott has today revealed a huge data breach, admitting that there had been unauthorized access to a Starwood database dating back to 2014!  

After the recent British Airways data hack, followed by a Cathay Pacific breach affecting 9.4 million passengers, you’d have been forgiven for hoping that we’d seen the last of these travel-industry data breaches for a while.

Well, it seems those breaches were just ‘small fry’, as Marriott announce that as many as 500 million guests may have been affected by a recently discovered data breach of a Starwood database.

What information was taken?

A statement on the Marriott website says:

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
  • Communication preference

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 roughly 173 million guests, the information was limited to name and sometimes other data such as mailing address, email address, or other information.

The full statement from Marriott is available here.

There will no doubt be more to this story as details continue to emerge. I’ll update the article in due course with any additional information.

Header image credit: Cassiohabib /


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