Marriott confirms latest data breach, possibly exposing information about hotel guests, employees

Written by AJ Vicens

Marriott International confirmed on Tuesday that unknown criminal hackers broke into its computer networks and then attempted to extort the company, marking the latest in a series of successful cyberattacks against one of the world’s largest hotel chains.

The Incident, first reported early Tuesday by databreaches.netallegedly took place about a month ago and was the work of a group claiming to be “an international group that has been working for about five years”, according to the site.

A Marriott spokesperson told CyberScoop that the company “is aware of a threat actor who used social engineering to trick an associate at a single Marriott hotel into giving him access to the partner’s computer”. The access “only occurred for a short period over one day. Marriott identified and investigated the incident before the threat actor contacted the company in an extortion attempt, which Marriott failed to pay.

The company notified law enforcement, the spokesperson said.

The group claiming responsibility for the attack told Databreaches.net – a news site that focuses on data breaches and cyberattacks – that it stole around 20 gigabytes of data, which included card information. credit and confidential guest and worker information of a BWI employee. Airport Marriott in Baltimore. The attackers “emailed numerous employees” at Marriott about the breach, the site reported, and had at least limited communications with Marriott.

The attackers provided Databreaches.net with samples of the documents they claimed to have stolen, and screenshots posted on the site claim to show airline crew member booking logs from January 2022 and the credit card authorization forms. The site reported that the hackers had shared another “relatively recent” file, but Databreaches.net chose not to post it.

Marriott told CyberScoop that most of the stolen information was “non-sensitive internal business files regarding the operation of the property.” The company told Databreaches.net it will notify 300 to 400 people and regulators, as needed.

CyberScoop could not independently verify information about the stolen material or the attackers claiming responsibility.

Marriott has suffered serious data breaches in the past, such as in November 2018 when the company revealed that hackers hacked into one of its subsidiary’s reservation systems and stole the personal data of around 500 million customers. Many US officials and private analysts blame the Chinese government for this hack, which lasted from 2014 to 2018.

A second breach, disclosed in March 2020, gave hackers data on as many as 5.2 million guests, the company said at the time.

Updated on 05/07/22: to include additional details from the Marriott spokesperson.

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