Starwood hotels data breach

This item appears on page 4 of the January 2019 issue.

A data breach at Starwood (owned by Marriott since 2016) exposed the names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and passport numbers of about 327 million hotel guests. Other guests also had credit card information stolen, bringing the total to about 500 million people; however, the credit card numbers and expiration dates were stored with two levels of encryption, and Marriott does not know if the thieves were able to successfully retrieve that information.

The breach, discovered by Marriott in September 2018, included records dating back to 2014. The breach also included guests' information for Sheraton and W hotels.

Marriott has set up a phone number and a website (877/273-9481, to answer guests' questions about the breach.