Marriott's Starwood unit was hacked, exposing data for 500 million customers

Image credit: Publituris

Security breaches and hacks seem to be a never-ending threat, and the latest one to be affected by such an attack is Marriott Hotels. The firm announced on Friday that the guest reservation database for its Starwood unit was hacked, granting the attackers access to personal information for as many as 500 million of its customers.

Aside from the large scale of the attack, the kind of data exposed is also particularly troublesome. For 327 million of the affected customers, information exposed by the attack could include information such as passport numbers, e-mails, and mailing addresses. Credit card details may have also been exposed for some, even though they're encrypted.

Marriott says that the attack had been underway since before it acquired the Starwood hotels back in 2016, and the database included customer information for reservations made prior to September 10 of this year. It's currently unknown who is responsible for the cyber attack.

According to Bloomberg, the attack could be one of the largest in corporate history, second only to the massive breach that affected Yahoo! a few years ago. Following the news, Marriott's shares fell 6.9%, but the full impact of such a discovery may end up being even bigger. Analysts say it's still too early to tell just how deeply customer trust will be affected by the breach.

Source: Bloomberg

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