A booking database kept running by the Marriott lodging has been hit back by a hack that could influence up to 500 million guests.
Marriott International Inc. said it’s examining a hack of the guest reservation database at its Starwood unit that might be one of the greatest such breaches in corporate history. Marriott shares drooped as much as 6.9 percent.
“We deeply regret this incident happened,” the company said in a statement.
“Marriott reported this incident to law enforcement and continues to support their investigation. The company has already begun notifying regulatory authorities.”
The hack influences somewhere in the range of 500 million guests, and for around 327 million of them, the information name, address, phone number, email, passport number, account information, date of birth, gender, and arrival and departure information Marriott said. Some credit card information may likewise have been taken.
“We know there’s going to be a cost, but how big will it be, I don’t know, I don’t think Marriott knows,” said Michael Bellisario, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. “Marriott’s biggest asset is the network effect of customers in the loyalty program. The big question is does it impact the Marriott brand, and the customer desire to reward program members? It’s still too early to tell.”
“The breach is so big that the company may face a large fine from the authorities and the market is factoring that in,” said Juan Jose Fernandez Figares, chief analyst at Link Securities in Madrid. “This is yet another company that has been hit by a hacking and a reminder to any company that manages customers’ personal data that they need to work harder to protect them from future attacks.“