Marriott data breach exposes 5 million guests' information. Again.
This is Marriott International's second major data breach in as many years. Image: Miguel Candela / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images By Amanda Yeo2020-04-01 01:52:38 UTC Marriott International has announced a massive data breach that...
Marriott International has announced a massive data breach that exposed over 5 million hotel guests' information. No, not that breach. It's a new one this time.
"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."
According to Marriott International, the breach exposed information such as customers' personal and contact details, loyalty account information, airline loyalty programs, and room preferences. This included people's names, mailing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and birthdays.
The company claims it has no reason to believe driver license numbers, national identification numbers, passport numbers, or payment information was compromised. However, the breach is still being investigated.
"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.
Marriott International notified affected guests on Tuesday via email, as well as set up call centers and a web portal for people to find out if they were impacted. The hotel chain will prompt affected Marriot Bonvoy members to change their password and enable multi-factor authentication, and is also offering one year of free personal information monitoring in some countries.
This is the second major data breach Marriott International has disclosed in less than two years. In 2018, the company announced a Starwood customer database hack that stole 5.25 million unencrypted passport numbers.
Said information had actually been exposed since 2014, four years before the breach was discovered, so the two-month delay in finding this latest breach is arguably an improvement. Still, a massive data breach exposing the sensitive personal information of millions is never a good thing.
It's a particularly bad time for a hotel security scandal, with the coronavirus pandemic already severely impacting business. The hospitality industry is experiencing significant distress as numerous countries put travel bans in place and people choose to remain at home.
Earlier this month Marriott International began to furlough tens of thousands of its workers and cut pay for some who remain. According to Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson, the business is now running at about 25 percent due to the coronavirus' impact.