Security breach hits 500 million
HACKERS stole information on as many as 500 million guests of the Marriott hotel empire over four years, the company said yesterday as it acknowledged one of the largest security breaches in history.
The full scope of the failure was not immediately clear but the hackers obtained credit card and passport numbers as well as other personal data.
The affected hotel brands were operated by Starwood before it was acquired by Marriott in 2016, including Sheraton and Westin. None of the Marriott-branded chains was threatened.
The crisis quickly emerged as one of the biggest breaches on record. “On a scale of one to 10, this is one of those No. 10 breaches,” said Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer of security company Veracode.
“There have only been a few of this scale in the last decade.”
By comparison, last year’s Equifax hack affected more than 145 million people.
Security analysts were especially alarmed to learn that the breach began in 2014.
While such failures often span months, four years is extreme, said Yonatan StriemAmit, chief technology officer of Cybereason.