Marriott International announced that it is notifying some of its guests of a possible data breach involving information from up to approximately 5.2 million guests.
A statement released by the company on March 31 explained that hotels operated and franchised under Marriott’s brands use an application to help provide services to guests at hotels. At the end of February 2020, the company identified that an unexpected amount of guest information may have been accessed using the login credentials of two employees at a franchise property. The company believes that this activity started in mid-January 2020. Upon discovery, the company confirmed that the login credentials were disabled, immediately began an investigation, implemented heightened monitoring, and arranged resources to inform and assist guests. Marriott also notified relevant authorities and is supporting their investigations, the company said in the statement.
At this point, the company believes that the following information may have been involved for up to approximately 5.2 million guests, although not all of this information was present for every guest involved: contact details (e.g., name, mailing address, email address, and phone number); loyalty account information (e.g., account number and points balance, but not passwords); additional personal details (e.g., company, gender, and birthday day and month); partnerships and affiliations (e.g., linked airline loyalty programs and numbers); and preferences (e.g., stay/room preferences and language preference).
Today, Marriott is sending emails to the guests involved. The notice explains what occurred, the information involved, the measures taken by Marriott to investigate and address the issue, how Marriott is assisting guests, and steps guests can consider taking. Marriott has also set up a dedicated website and call center resources with additional information for guests. The email sent to guests and the website contain a list of steps guests involved can consider taking and information about enrolling in a personal information monitoring service that Marriott is providing.
In the statement, the company said that its investigation is ongoing, and it currently has no reason to believe that the information involved included Marriott Bonvoy account passwords or PINs, payment card information, passport information, national IDs, or driver’s license numbers.
Marriott carries insurance, including cyber insurance, commensurate with its size and the nature of its operations, and the company is working with its insurers to assess coverage. In the statement, the company said that it does not currently believe that its total costs related to this incident will be significant.
On November 30, 2018, Marriott announced a Starwood guest reservation data breach that ended up involving approximately 383 million guest records, 5.25 million unencrypted passport numbers, 20.3 million encrypted passport numbers, and 8.6 million encrypted payment cards.