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Marriott Breach: Worse Than We Thought

Marriott Breach: Worse Than We Thought
Jennifer Billock

Marriott International has shared more information on their massive data breach and just how bad it actually was—while the company still won’t release exactly how many customers’ information was affected, we now know the likely number of records accessed and what was compromised from each customer’s record.

Semi-good news for Marriott customers—the original estimate of 500 million records hacked from the massive data break has shrunk to a maximum of 383 million. The company recently released more details along these lines about the massive data breach they announced in November. As for that 383 million number, keep in mind that this refers to the number of records, not the number of people, so less than that amount had their personal information stolen. There’s still not a solid number on the actual amount of customers, though.

In its announcement, Marriott said that 5.25 million passport numbers were unencrypted and accessed with the hack. Another 20.3 million more were encrypted and also accessed with the hack, but there’s no evidence that they were even unencrypted. The company is working on a tool to allow customers to look up their passport numbers and see if they were stolen. Marriott, though, is only offering to pay for new passports for customers whose data was stolen and is being used.

As far as payment cards, 8.6 million were accessed by the hackers. They were all encrypted, but the majority of the cards were not expired, opening customers up to some serious credit card fraud. The company is looking to see if any unencrypted card numbers were accessed, and believes only about 200 cards fit that description.

“We want to provide our customers and partners with updates based on our ongoing work to address this incident as we try to understand as much as we possibly can about what happened,” Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a release. “As we near the end of the cyber forensics and data analytics work, we will continue to work hard to address our customers’ concerns and meet the standard of excellence our customers deserve and expect from Marriott.”

[Photo: Marriott Hotels]

View Comments (3)


  1. ifu05596

    January 6, 2019 at 2:58 am

    How do you find out if your passport details were stolen, or do we need to wait for the self-service tool? Also, how on earth do you know if you are being used?!

  2. eng3

    January 7, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Why does Marriott need your passport number at all?

  3. vilntrav

    January 12, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Are only former Starwood program members still affected ?

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