Canadians receive emails from Marriott about recent personal data breach

10 Décembre, 2018, 02:50 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • A doorman's hat at Sheraton hotel a brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

The same sources indicated that other actors also have access to the same tools, and that attribution can not be confirmed.

But the sources told Reuters it's also hard to lay the blame directly at China's feet because they suspect multiple hacking groups have been inside the Starwood system since 2014.

Marriott International has started emailing Canadian customers about the recent data breach that affected 500 million guests of its Starwood Hotel properties. Three sources claim that private investigators found clues suggesting that the hack was a Chinese government intelligence-gathering operation.

The hotel chain's statement came after New York Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer publicly called on Marriott to pay for people's passport replacement fees over the last weekend. A small percentage of accounts included scrambled payment card data, said Kim.

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The company says the contact information, passport numbers, arrival and departure information, reservation dates, and credit card information of up to 327 million guests may also be entangled in the incident. Therefore, the hotel group must invest heavily in improved cybersecurity to protect its customers from cyber attacks.

Another reason for suspicion of China is that the timing of the initial breach in 2014 was right around the time, according to USA intelligence, that the country's operatives began poking around in the systems of the Office of Personnel Management. Few details have been made public on who might be responsible for the theft of data from 500 million guest records, but Reuters reports that investigators believe espionage by China is involved.

"Think of the depth of knowledge they could now have about travel habits or who happened to be in a certain city at the same time as another person", said Anderson, who served as Federal Bureau of Investigation executive assistant director until 2015.

Michael Sussmann, a former senior Department of Justice official for its computer crimes section, said that the long duration of the campaign was an indicator that the hackers were seeking data for intelligence and not information to use in cybercrime schemes.

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