Marriott International has a record of being extremely unsafe as far as the personal data of the guests is concerned and unsurprisingly, there has been another breach that has compromised the information of 5.4 million hotel guests.
Source: Tech Crunch
“At the end of February 2020, we identified that an unexpected amount of guest information may have been accessed using the login credentials of two employees at a franchise property,” the international hotel chain wrote on Tuesday. “We believe this activity started in mid-January 2020.”
The hotel chain confirms that the data that has been revealed contains contact details, loyalty account information, airline loyalty programs, room preferences along with names, mailing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and birthdays.
Even though the breach is under investigation, Marriott International says that passport information, payment options, national identification numbers, and license plates may not have been compromised.
“Upon discovery, we confirmed that the login credentials were disabled, immediately began an investigation, implemented heightened monitoring, and arranged resources to inform and assist guests,” wrote Marriott International.
They notified all the guests that were affected via email on Tuesday and also acquired some call centers with a web portal so additional information could be provided to the users. The hotel says that they will provide affected Marriott Bonvoy members the permission to change their password and enable multi-factor authentication and are reportedly removing the charges for one year of personal information access in some countries.
This is not the first time that Marriot has been under criticism for a weak online system as this is the second major break in two years. Previously, in 2018, the Starwood customer database was hacked which resulted in the theft of 5.25 million unencrypted passport numbers.
Source: Grid Daily
The data was already disclosed in 2014 and it took Marriott International 4 years to figure out the breach. So if they have sorted this theft in less than two months, it is definitely a moment for celebration of their technical staff.
This situation could not come at a worse time for the hotel chain as businesses have already shut down due to coronavirus and companies are experiencing major losses. Even before lockdowns, travel restrictions were placed on citizens of many counties that greatly affected the tourism industry including hotels.
Earlier this month, Marriott International approved leaves of tens of thousands of employees and those who remained experienced major cuts in their salaries. Right now, the hotel chain is running at about 25 percent due to coronavirus as reported by Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson.