Marriott shares tumble after admitting to massive data breach
Shares in Marriott dived on an announcement that the hotel giant was alerted on September 8 that there had been an attempt to hack their reservation database in the US.
The company discovered “that there had been unauthorized access to the Starwood network since 2014” which compromised personal and financial information.
The probe found “an unauthorized party had copied and encrypted information and took steps towards removing it.”
After decrypting the information, the company found on November 19 “that the contents were from the Starwood guest reservation database.”
Marriott said hackers accessed information like names, addresses and dates of birth from most of the affected customers but could not rule out that they were also able to access some encrypted credit card information.
“We deeply regret this incident happened,” Marriott chief Arne Sorenson said in a statement. “We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves.”
Marriott said it would offer support to those affected including free, one-year enrollment in WebWatcher, a service which monitors internet sites where personal data is shared. Marriott also is working with law enforcement and security experts to tighten security on its system.