Massive data breach at Marriott’s Starwood hotels

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Massive data breach at Marriott's Starwood hotels (Pic Credit: CTV Toronto)

Starwood Hotels has confirmed its hotel guest database of about 500 million customers has been stolen in a data breach.

The company said on Friday, for about 327 million people, the information exposed includes some combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date and communication preferences.

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According to ABC News, Marriott said that there was a breach of its database in September, which had guest information related to reservations at Starwood properties on or before Sept. 10.

Starwood operates hotels under the names: 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. Starwood branded timeshare properties are also included.

Marriott International Inc. discovered through the investigation that someone copied and encrypted guest information and tried to remove it.

Marriott and Starwood merged two years ago and attempts to combine the loyalty programs for the hotels have been marred by technical difficulties.

CEO Arne Sorenson said in a prepared statement Friday that Marriott is still trying to phase out Starwood systems.

Marriott has set up a website and call center for anyone who thinks that they are at risk, and on Friday will begin sending emails to those affected.

(With Agency Inputs)

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