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Massive Sheraton, Marriott Hotel Hack Set To Affect CE Industry Executives

CE and appliance industry business executives who stay at Sheraton, Marriott or W Hotel properties and have a Starwood Card are facing the real possibility that their personal information including credit card and passport details have been compromised.

During the past year several big CE brands have held events both locally and Internationally at Marriott International properties. On Saturday morning the Company disclosed one of the biggest data breaches in history, a hack of over 500 million customers.

Marriott warned 327 million—of the guests potentially affected, an unauthorized party may have gained access to names, passport numbers and travel details. The company said that in some cases payment-card numbers are typically encrypted, though it couldn’t rule out that card information was stolen.

Starwood brands account for about a third of the company’s total collection. They include the Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance, Sheraton, W Hotels, Westin, Le Méridien, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft, St. Regis, Element, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, and Design Hotels.

The company found the hacker had copied the information and encrypted it for extraction before attempting to steal it, though it wasn’t until Nov. 19 that Marriott was able to determine what information may have been accessed, the announcement saw its stock price plunge.

Several of their properties particularly in the USA collect passport numbers, travel details and payment-card data when you check into one of their properties.

“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,” said Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson, who led the company’s $13.6 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal said that hotels have been a popular target for hackers, in part because they often have multiple cards on file for their frequent guests. Doing so makes it more convenient for travellers to check in and out as well as make purchases at the hotel-based restaurants, spas and gift shops.

The data breach adds to problems Marriott has encountered in its integration of Starwood. Travelers have reported problems with hotel stays being credited to loyalty accounts and have complained about customer service not helping when issues were identified.

During a recent stay at the Sheraton Hotel in Hong Kong I discovered that my stay had not been credited the same happened when I stayed at a Marriott property in New York earlier this year.

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