Half a billion people may have been affected by a data breach in the Marriott Hotels chain, according to the BBC.
The BBC said: “The records of 500 million customers of the hotel group Marriott International have been involved in a data breach. An internal investigation found an attacker had been able to access the Starwood network since 2014.”
Marriott International includes several different brands including Starwood, the company that was targeted in the 2014 cyber attack.
According to the BBC: “Marriott International bought Starwood in 2016, creating the largest hotel chain in the world with more than 5,800 properties.”
Other chains owned by Marriott include W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Aloft Hotels, Element Hotels and The Luxury Collection. Any other brand that was ever owned or operated by Marriott or related companies could also have been affected.
The BBC added: “The database contained details of reservations made on or before 10 September 2018.”
The personal information contained in the hacked database included sensitive data including full names, addresses, gender, passport details, card details including CVVs and expiry dates, telephone numbers and reservation dates.
In November 2018, Marriott emailed millions of its customers to inform them of the data breach once it was discovered.
The emails from Marriott were sent with the subject ‘Starwood Guest Reservation Database Security Incident’ from the address starwoodhotels@email-Marriott.com. However, individuals who did not receive this email may still have been affected.
According to a study by the UK government, almost half of businesses have suffered a data breach over the past 12 months.
The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2020 found that 46% of businesses generally and 75% of large firms had been subject to data breaches in the past year.
It is not just size that determines whether a business is likely to suffer a data breach, the type of information held is an important determining factor.
The report says: “Businesses that hold personal data are more likely than average to have experienced data breaches or attacks – 55% versus 46% overall – highlighting the importance of protecting this information.”
Hotel databases, such as those targeted in the Marriott hack, house significant amounts of personal data. The BBC said: “some records also included encrypted payment card information, but [Marriott] could not rule out the possibility that the encryption keys had also been stolen.”
According to the BBC, Marriott stated: “We deeply regret this incident happened. Marriott reported this incident to law enforcement and continues to support their investigation. The company has already begun notifying regulatory authorities.”
If you were affected by the Marriott data breach, you are entitled to claim compensation. My Family Solicitor represent those endangered by the hotel chain’s failure to protect their information.
Get in touch with My Family Solicitor today and claim the data breach compensation you are owed.