Marriott Now Says 5.25 Million Passport Numbers Accessed in November Data Breach

Marriott Now Says 5.25 Million Passport Numbers Accessed in November Data Breach

That might be a problem, given passport numbers can be used for identity theft and to commit fraud, but is the sort of data that remains highly valuable for spy agencies that can use the information to track down where government officials, diplomats and adversaries have stayed - giving insight into what would ordinarily be clandestine activities. It is still investigating how many stolen payment card numbers were not encrypted.

Following a November announcement about a hack to its Starwood reservations database, Marriott provided an update to customers Friday. The company recently discovered that an unauthorized party had copied and encrypted information, and took steps towards removing it. The company said it didn't find evidence that the hackers were able to decrypt the protected data. "The company is continuing to analyse these numbers to better understand if they are payment card numbers and, if they are payment card numbers, the process it will put in place to assist guests", it said. Marriott said, "There is no evidence that the unauthorized third party accessed the master encryption key needed to decrypt the encrypted passport numbers".

Hackers stole more than 300 million records from Marriott in 2014.

Marriott now believes that the number of potentially involved guests is lower than the 500 million the company had originally estimated.

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The company also said it believes that approximately 8.6 million encrypted payment cards were involved in the attack. The company also found that in some cases, the same customer had more than one record within the database.

It's less than the original reported estimate, but still the largest personal data breaches in history, more than double the 147.7 million Americans' data stolen in Equifax's breach. Marriott says it has identified approximately 383 million records as the upper limit for the total number of guest records that were involved in the incident. The company cautions that this doesn't necessarily mean 383 million individual guests were impacted, as there are apparently multiple records for the same guest.

Saying its initial count of 500 million victims was too high, the company offered a new estimate of fewer than 383 million people; a figure based on the number of guest records found in its database.

Fox Business foreign policy analyst Walid Phares and former National Security Council chief of staff Fred Fleitz discuss how Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that China was behind the massive security breach in Marriott's guest system.

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