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Marriott data breach: 500M records exposed, database vulnerable since 2014

Hackers accessed upto 500 million customer records in Marriot Hotels' Starwood reservation system in an attack which began four years ago, the hotel said last week.  . The exposed data included payment details and account information, among other things. 327 million exposed accounts included names, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport numbers, Starwood Preferred Guest account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences. Some records included payment card numbers and card expiration dates, although cards were encrypted using AES-128 For other guests, the exposed information was limited to mailing address, email address, or other information Marriott has reported the incident to law enforcement and has begun notifying regulatory bodies. “Marriott deeply regrets this incident happened. From the start, we moved quickly to contain the incident and conduct a thorough investigation with the assistance of leading security experts. Marriott is working hard to ensure our guests have answers to questions about their personal information with a dedicated website and call center," the company said in a statement Marriott first learned of the unauthorized breach on September 8, and the fact that the system was exposed since 2014. By November 19, Marriott was able to decrypt the information and determine that it was from the Starwood reservation database. Marriott’s Starwood brands include St. Regis, Le Meridien, and Westin Hotels, among others. Attorneys have filed a lawsuit in a US federal court within hours of the breach notification, reported Reuters. The lawsuit seeks class-action status for affected…

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