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500 million Marriott guests may be affected by massive data breach
Last Updated: 2018-12-03 14:10 | Xinhua
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U.S. hotel chain giant Marriott International said on Friday that a massive data breach in its Starwood hotel reservations database could affect about 500 million customers.

On Sept. 8, Marriott received an alert regarding an attempt to access its Starwood hotel reservation database. The Maryland-based company then discovered that an unauthorized party had copied and encrypted the information in the database.

After an investigation, Marriott believed the copied information probably contains data of about 500 million guests, who had made a reservation at Starwood hotels, such as Westin hotel and others.

"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, and communication preferences," Marriott said in an announcement.

For some customers, the information also includes payment card numbers and the expiration dates. Marriott couldn't determine whether the encryption of the payment card numbers had been broken for now.

Marriott acquired Starwood in 2016. However, it found that there had been unauthorized access to the Starwood network since 2014.

"We deeply regret this incident happened," said Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott.

"We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves. We are doing everything we can to support our guests, and using lessons learned to be better moving forward," Sorenson added.

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