Security Market Segment LS
Saturday, 01 December 2018 06:01

Marriott group hit by massive breach, details of 500m stolen Featured

By
Marriott group hit by massive breach, details of 500m stolen Pixabay

Hotel group Marriott International has reported a data breach in its Starwood line of hotels and resorts, with the details of up to 500 million guests likely to have been stolen by malicious attackers.

Marriott said it had become aware of the breach on 8 September and investigations had shown that data was being exfiltrated since 2014.

In a statement, the group said for about 327 million of these, the details included a combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences.

For some, payment card numbers and expiry dates were also leaked, the statement said, adding that the numbers were encrypted using AES-128. But Marriott said it could not rule out the fact that both components needed to decryption had been stolen by those who attacked the website.

In the case of the remaining guests, less details were stolen: name, mailing address and email address.

Marriott said it was offering guests free enrolment on the WebWatcher site; they would be informed by this site in the event that their personal information turned up on sites where such information was generally shared.

Commenting on the breach, Mark Bower, the chief risk officer at data protection firm Egress, said: "The breach at Marriott should be a concern for any traveller who stayed at their properties – but should also send warning signals to any business that may have had an employee stay at one of the properties as well.

"We expect the attackers to monetise the stolen PII, but also use it as fuel for future attacks on any organisation that had employees stay at one of the properties. The detailed information stolen from Marriott is typically used for advanced and sophisticated phishing attacks, business email compromise, and other well-orchestrated schemes that target employees and C-level executives alike."

Bower added that any organisation that may have had employees caught up in the latest breach should expect and prepare for this information to be weaponised against them.

"The application of machine learning and AI in helping detect and mitigate the risk of these types of email-borne attacks can help organisations stay ahead of the attackers. By analysing various attributes of email and its users — from the sender’s authenticity to the recipient’s ‘normal’ email behaviour — we can start to highlight anomalies and truly begin to detect and mitigate email-based attacked," he said.

David Pearson, the principal threat researcher at network detection and response firm Awake Security, said the number of people compromised in this breach made it a far-reaching incident that could affect other enterprises too.

"With 500 million people potentially impacted, that’s a large ocean for malicious actors to go phishing in," he said. "As we’ve seen in the past, there will be scores of hackers trying to exploit this breach with lookalike notification emails. And all it takes is one person to click on a malicious link while connected to a corporate network for attackers to compromise their organisation – even if that link was sent to a personal email address.

"This type of non-malware activity is so hard to detect because it weaponises the tools that people and businesses rely upon for every-day activities. Traditional security solutions that look for known-malware aren’t good enough in this new environment. We need to go beyond looking for patently malicious activity and start looking for malicious intent. The only way to do this is though the deep analysis of network data – with advanced network traffic analysis, security teams can see everything that’s happening on the network to find and stop attacks that are hiding in plain sight.

"In the case of a phishing incident, this type of network analysis can also identify what kinds of interaction an enterprise user has had with the phishing site. If the site is so new that it doesn't get identified as phishing until after the fact (or if no phishing detection solution is used), it wouldn't be blocked. So knowing what happened – which users and devices were impacted, what kind of information was divulged, whether other users are browsing related sites, etc. – is crucial for determining how to respond."


Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR ON ITWIRE

It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinatrs and campaigns and assassistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.

MORE INFO HERE!

INTRODUCING ITWIRE TV

iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.

SEE WHAT'S ON ITWIRE TV NOW!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments