Marriott data breach impacts 500 million Starwood hotel guests

From CNET: Marriott discovered a data breach that could've impacted up to 500 million guests, it said Friday.

The hotel group revealed that hackers compromised the guest reservation database of its Starwood division, whose brands include Sheraton, W Hotels, Westin, Le Meridien, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and St. Regis, up to Sept. 10.

Its Marriott-branded hotels use a separate reservation system on a different network, the BBC reported.

An internal investigation found that the network was first breached in 2014, and that "an unauthorized party had copied and encrypted information." For around 327 million of those impacted, that data included names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, passport numbers and travel details.

In the UK, the Information Commissioner's Office said that Marriott had informed it of the breach and that it's making inquiries into the matter. The watchdog agency also addressed the victims of the breach.

"We advise people who may have been affected to be vigilant and to follow advice from the ICO and National Cyber Security Centre websites about how they can protect themselves and their data online," an ICO spokesman said in an emailed statement.

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