And 5.3m unencrypted passport numbers

06 January, 2019, 22:58 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Marriott says 25 million passport numbers were stolen 5.25 million were unencrypted

"Marriott has identified approximately 383 million records as the upper limit for the total number of guest records that were involved in the incident". A Target breach in 2013 affected more than 41 million payment card accounts and exposed contact information for more than 60 million customers.

Global hotel chain Marriott has released an update today to its November 2018 data breach incident, revealing that far fewer hotel guests have been affected than previously thought.

If there is some good news to be had for Marriott, it is that the total number of stolen records is a bit lower than first feared.

The hotel company is establishing a system that will enable designated call center representatives to refer guests to appropriate resources through which individual passport numbers can be looked up to determine whether they were among the unencrypted passport numbers. "The company is continuing to analyse these numbers to better understand if they are payment card numbers and, if they are payment card numbers, the process it will put in place to assist guests", it said.

The hotelier now estimates that up to 383 million records were pilfered in the incident, cutting the original figure after data forensics eliminated duplicates.

"This does not, however, mean that information about 383 million unique guests was involved, as in many instances, there appear to be multiple records for the same guest", Marriott said in a statement published online Friday.


On a less positive note, however, Marriott also today said that more than 25.5 million passport numbers were stolen. Some of those cards were also expired as of September 2018.

The hackers accessed about 20.3 million encrypted passport numbers.

According to the hotel chain, hackers stole approximately 8.6 million encrypted payment cards, but just like in the case of the encrypted passport numbers, the hotel said there was no evidence that hackers got access to the encryption key needed to decrypt the payment card information.

Starwood hotels, which include Trump Turnberry in Ayrshire, London's Park Lane Sheraton Grand, Westbury Mayfair and Le Meridien Piccadilly, have ceased using their own reservation database since the end of 2018 and have now integrated with the Marriott system. Regardless, Marriott says there isn't any evidence that the hackers acquired the tools needed to decrypted the card info.

Marriott added that it completed the phase-out of the Starwood reservation system, the scene of the crime.

This data breach began in 2014, roughly one year before Marriott International offered to purchase the Starwood hotel chain.

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