Marriott involved in second data breach involving 5.2 Million customers

Marriott International and data breaches go hand in hand, or so it seems. The hospitality group just keeps getting more and more of these happening to them all the time. In late 2018, Marriott had announced that Starwood’s reservation systems were compromised and hundreds of millions of customer records, including credit card and passport numbers, were exfiltrated by the attackers.

MArriott Data Breach

Jaisalmer Marriott Resort & Spa, India

Now, Marriott has announced that they were hit another time, as late as February 2020. Marriott reports that “an unexpected amount of guest information may have been accessed using the login credentials of two employees at a franchise property.” Marriott suspects this activity started in mid-January 2020.

Marriott, upon discovery, disabled the login credentials of said employees, immediately began an investigation, implemented heightened monitoring, and arranged resources to inform and assist guests. Marriott believes that information does not involve Marriott Bonvoy account passwords or PINs, payment card information, passport information, national IDs, or driver’s license numbers.
Marriott states the following information could have been landed in the hands of those accessing it:

  • Contact Details (e.g., name, mailing address, email address, and phone number)
  • Loyalty Account Information (e.g., account number and points balance, but not passwords)
  • Additional Personal Details (e.g., company, gender, and birthday day and month)
  • Partnerships and Affiliations (e.g., linked airline loyalty programs and numbers)
  • Preferences (e.g., stay/room preferences and language preference)
Marriott states that they have sent out emails to the guests involved from on March 31, 2020.
How to find out if your account was compromised?
Marriott has set up a self-service online portal for guests to be able to determine whether their information was involved in the incident and, if so, what categories of information were involved. This portal can be accessed here.

Steps taken by Marriott for compromised members

Marriott states that they will be offering Experian IdentityWorks for one year for everyone whose account is compromised, for a period of one year. Also, for those guests who are a Marriott Bonvoy member, their existing login credentials have been disabled and they would need to set a new password for their account. They can also set up Multi-Factor authentication to protect access to their account.

IdentityWorks is currently available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Language support for online enrollment is available in English, French, French Canadian, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.


It is most unfortunate that Marriott seems to be getting these attacks over and over again, but it is more unfortunate that their system designs are not being updated in line with global best practices for cybersecurity to ensure that such breaches don’t happen in the future.

Have you heard from Marriott about a data breach on your account?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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