American hospitality company Marriott International is currently investigating a data breach that may have leaked 5.2 million customers’ personal information, marking the company’s third data breach in the past 18 months.
In a statement on its website, the company said that it discovered in late February that up to 5.2 million guests’ names, addresses, birthdays, email addresses, phone numbers and loyalty reward program numbers for the hotel chain and partner airlines may have been compromised.
Marriott currently has no reason to believe” that passwords, passport information or driver’s license numbers were compromised so far. The incident might have occurred at a franchised hotel in Russia, where the hackers got access to the login credentials?
In October 2019, the hotel chain revealed that unknown hackers had obtained the names, addresses and social security numbers of at least 1,553 company employees through a vendor that “handled official documents such as court orders and subpoenas.”
In November 2018, a subsidiary of Marriott named Starwood revealed that more than 300 million guests’ data was exposed through a hack of the hotel company’s reservation database.
Leaked information included passport numbers, payments cards and travel details. Marriott was forced to pay a $123 million fine to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, since the breach affected around 30 million European Union residents.
According to Richard Lawson, a partner at the law firm Gardner Brewer Martinez-Monfort PA, large companies can’t always prevent cyber attacks, but the repeated breaches of Marriott data could cause concern among government officials.
Sputnik/ ABC Flash Point Hospitality News 2020.