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Marriott announces massive data breach; 500 million guests could be targets

By Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

If you’ve stayed at a Marriott company hotel over the past few months, you will want to keep an eye on your personal information.

Company officials announced an investigation into a hack of a guest reservation database at its Starwood division. It is said that the breach could be one of the biggest in history.

Officials said the hack targeted 500 million guests and that the hackers were able to get passport numbers and credit card information of some guests.

About 327 million guests had a combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest information, birthday and gender accessed by the hackers, according to Marriott.

Marriott International said the unauthorized access started in 2014 and that the hacker copied encrypted information.  The company does not know whether the hackers were able un-encrypt all the card information that customers submit upon making a reservation.

Marriott bought the Starwood group in 2016  — hotels that include the St. Regis, Westin, Sheraton and W Hotels.

Company officials said they have contacted law enforcement and started to notify regulatory authorities.

Marriott says it has a dedicated call center set up for its customers and is doing email notifications. In the US, call 877-273-9481.

For more information about the incident from Marriott and Starwood, follow this link.

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