Are you a frequent traveler who stays at Marriott hotels often? If so, you may have heard about the Marriott hotel wifi hack that occurred in 2018.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Marriott hotels experienced a massive data breach in 2018 where hackers gained access to the personal information of millions of guests, including their names, addresses, and passport numbers.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the Marriott hotel wifi hack and explore what exactly happened, what Marriott did to address the issue, and what you can do to protect yourself from future data breaches.
What Happened in the Marriott Hotel Wifi Hack?
In 2020, Marriott Hotel’s guest reservation database was hacked, compromising the personal information of over 5.2 million guests. The hackers obtained access to guest data through the hotel’s wifi network, which was not secured with adequate encryption protocols.
Timeline of Events
- March 31, 2020: Marriott discovered the data breach and launched an investigation.
- April 1, 2020: Marriott confirmed that the breach had occurred and notified affected guests.
- April 6, 2020: Marriott reported the incident to law enforcement.
- May 2020: Marriott announced that the breach had affected over 5.2 million guests.
The hackers obtained access to guest data through the hotel’s wifi network, which was not secured with adequate encryption protocols. The compromised data included guests’ names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and loyalty program account information. In some cases, the hackers also accessed guests’ passport numbers and dates of birth.
Marriott has stated that the hackers did not obtain access to guests’ payment card information or passwords.
Over 5.2 million guests were affected by the Marriott Hotel wifi hack. Marriott has stated that it will offer affected guests a year of free personal information monitoring and identity theft protection services.
If you stayed at a Marriott Hotel in 2020, it is important to monitor your personal information and financial accounts for any suspicious activity. You should also consider changing your passwords and enabling multi-factor authentication on any online accounts associated with your Marriott loyalty program.
For more information about the Marriott Hotel wifi hack and steps you can take to protect your personal information, visit Marriott’s website.
What Did Marriott Do to Address the Issue?
When Marriott hotel chain announced in 2018 that hackers had breached their database and accessed the personal information of over 500 million customers, they immediately took several steps to address the issue and mitigate the damage. Here are some of the measures they implemented:
Marriott’s first priority was to contain the breach and prevent any further unauthorized access to their systems. They quickly engaged cybersecurity experts to investigate the attack and identify the scope of the damage. They also notified law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies, including the FBI and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK.
To reassure their customers, Marriott set up a dedicated website and call center to provide information and assistance to those affected by the breach. They also offered free enrollment in a personal information monitoring service for one year.
Marriott recognized that they needed to take more proactive steps to prevent future cyber attacks and protect their customers’ data. They invested in upgrading their cybersecurity systems and procedures, including implementing multi-factor authentication for access to their systems and encrypting sensitive data.
They also conducted a review of their IT systems and processes to identify any potential vulnerabilities and improve their overall security posture. This included hiring additional staff and partnering with outside experts to provide ongoing cybersecurity support and guidance.
Marriott faced legal action from customers and regulators in several countries as a result of the data breach. In July 2019, the ICO announced that they intended to fine Marriott £99 million for violations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The fine was later reduced to £18.4 million after Marriott appealed the decision.
In addition to the regulatory fines, Marriott also faced several class action lawsuits from customers who claimed that their personal information had been compromised as a result of the breach. In April 2021, Marriott announced that they had agreed to a $50 million settlement to resolve these lawsuits.
How Can You Protect Yourself from Future Data Breaches?
With the recent Marriott Hotel wifi hack, it is more important than ever to take steps to protect your personal information online. Here are some tips to keep your data safe:
Tips for Secure Wifi Usage
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when connecting to public wifi networks.
- Avoid using public wifi networks for sensitive activities like online banking or shopping.
- Make sure your home wifi network is secured with a strong password.
Best Practices for Online Security
- Use strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts.
- Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.
- Be wary of suspicious emails or messages asking for personal information.
Importance of Monitoring Personal Information
It’s important to regularly monitor your personal information, including your credit report and bank statements. If you notice any suspicious activity, report it immediately to the appropriate authorities.
Remember, taking steps to protect your personal information online is a continuous process. Stay vigilant and stay informed about the latest threats and security measures.
In conclusion, the Marriott hotel wifi hack was a serious data breach that compromised the personal information of millions of guests. Marriott responded quickly and took steps to address the issue, but it’s still important for travelers to take proactive measures to protect themselves from future data breaches. By following our tips for secure wifi usage, best practices for online security, and monitoring personal information, you can stay one step ahead of potential hackers and safeguard your sensitive data.