November 30, 2018

Another Major Data Breach

By Richard L. Kuper

Over the years I have written about/reported about various data breaches by large corporations here in The Kuper Report. (See this link to read some past articles.) Today (November 30, 2018), we've learned about another one.

Marriott Hotels has revealed a major breach of their Starwood guest reservation database. According to the Marriott news release they discovered the breach on September 8, 2018 and began an investigation. They discovered that there had been "unauthorized access to the Starwood network since 2014" and that the Starwood guest reservation database had been compromised. The release went on to say that about 500 million guests who had made reservations at Starwood properties were affected. The release further stated that for approximately 327 million of these guests, the information included:

"some combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences. For some, the information also includes payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates".

This is a serious breach, and, sadly, just one of many that seem to keep occurring. I first started writing about data security in this newsletter back in 2006, and my first article on the subject was titled: "Data Security: An Oxymoron". Sadly, over twelve (12) years later, data security still seems to be an oxymoron.


Richard L. Kuper

The Kuper Report