Marriott International has said the data of approximately 500 million guests has been compromised.
On 8 September 2018, Marriott received an alert from an internal security tool regarding an attempt to access the Starwood guest reservation database in the US and has since discovered there has been unauthorised access to the database since 2014. Marriott acquired Starwood in 2016.
For approximately 327 million of these guests, the information includes some combination of name, address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences.
For some, the information also includes payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates. Two components are needed to decrypt the numbers, and at this point, Marriott has not been able to rule out the possibility that both were taken.
Arne Sorenson, Marriott's president and chief executive, said: "We deeply regret this incident happened. We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves. We are doing everything we can to support our guests, and using lessons learned to be better moving forward."
The company has set up a dedicated website and call centre to answer guests' questions about the incident, will be sending emails on a rolling basis starting today to affected guests, and is providing guests access to WebWatcher free of charge for one year.