Marriott’s Latest Fiasco: A Massive Data Breach

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As I wrote previously, the Marriott-Starwood merger has been one fiasco after another. The company that claims to live by the Golden Rule has failed to communicate with members about their massive problems trying to integrate SPG and Marriott and they have consistently picked the low road with decisions like the travel packages and lifetime nights.

The fiasco of the day is that Marriott’s reservation system was hacked and gave away data on 500 million guests.

Marriott isn’t exactly sure what personal data was obtained, but it may include credit card and passport data in addition to name, age, address, all reservation details, etc.. You can find out more information about signing up for WebWatcher on Marriott’s dime here.

And no, this did not happen because I called to be an owner on the Marriott website 😉

To be fair, this breach has been ongoing for the past 4 years on the SPG side. Marriott wants to make sure that you know this is a Starwood data leak, as if that deflects some of the blame away from them. The headlines on Marriott’s site make it clear that this was a Starwood breach and Marriott has even revived the Starwood hotels URL, with forwarding to the data breach page. In the end though it’s still Marriott’s responsibility and the breadth of this breach is staggering.

That being said, don’t worry Marriott. If you want to unwind the merger because of this and give us back our old Starwood AMEX cards and Starpoints currency, nobody will complain.

HT: Eliyohu, via DDF

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15 Comments On "Marriott’s Latest Fiasco: A Massive Data Breach"

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is there any updates on the calgary travel packages, if they are switchable to a current category 5?


The day I make a booking for a Marriott property… yay!


Now we know all about you.




To a defence of Marriott. Every single project of this scale is extremely complicated. Those IT systems were written over a couple of decades and there are so many integrated things.


I’m a software engineer, and I can tell you that this is no excuse. It’s a matter of poor management, poor planning, poor design, poor execution, and poor QA.
Every company I’ve worked for had to deal with legacy systems. It’s not a unique situation by any means.


clearly you are not a modern engineer, as hacks occur to every company even my own (google +). I do not blame Marriott in the slightest, it happens.


To be fair that’s a Starwood breach that Marriott uncovered and patched, so I think the article is a little unfair making it sound like it’s Marriotts fiasco.


I had to chuckle when the head of the European division recently bragged to a group of us that they had solved 99.9% of the IT problems. When I remarked to another partipant how could he have the gall to make such an obviously dishonest statement, he replied that he was referring to the problems they themselves had created.


Yu can blame Marriott for a lot of things but this isn’t one of them. SPG, the darling around here is 100% at fault.