As many as 500 million guests may have had their personal information disclosed by a data breach in Marriott’s Starwood guest reservation database. While some guests “only” had their names and addresses accessed, around 327 million guests had some combination of the following information compromised: name, mailing address, phone number, credit card information, email address, Starwood Preferred Guest account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and passport number. That last one might give you pause. Passport numbers are especially sensitive, and you may now be wondering if yours is being passed around on the dark web, waiting to become the alias of some highly trained Russian assassin. We reached out to the U.S. State Department for answers. While the department says it’s aware that some individuals’ passport numbers may have been disclosed in the Marriott/Starwood breach, it is urging consumers not to panic. For one thing, none of the State Department’s records or IT systems connect directly to Marriott’s records or systems, so hackers didn’t stumble on a backdoor to the State Department’s computers. Also, while it’s not great that passport numbers were disclosed, according to a State Department official, passport numbers aren’t all that… Read full this story
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