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Starwood and Marriot Security Concerns Just Before Their Acquisition

Starwood and Marriot’s Security Concerns Just Before Their Acquisition

Starwood Hotels and Resorts is looking into the guests’ payment-card data frauds after reports of infiltration of their payment system started doing rounds. Meanwhile, Marriott has issued warnings about the phone scams.

Earlier this week Starwood had announced about Marriott’s intention to acquire them for a whopping sum of $12.2 Billion.  The deal makes it the largest hotel company in the world.

At least 54 hotels, including Westin, Sheraton, and W hotels, in North America, have their point-of-sale systems infected with malware, as disclosed by Starwood on Friday. The malware have made these terminals to vulnerable to hacking. Unauthorized parties can easily tap into the payment card data and steal information. The hacking was latest in a string of security breaches targeting the hotel industry.

The first incident of the security breach was noticed in November 2014. According to the third party investigation, different malware might have stayed in the system for several days ranging from minutes to several months.

“Quickly after we became aware of the possible issue, we took prompt action to determine the facts. We have been working closely with law enforcement authorities and have been coordinating our efforts with the payment card organizations. We want to assure our customers that we have implemented additional security measures to help prevent this type of crime from reoccurring.” Sergion Rivera, Starwood’s President for the Americas was reported to have said.

The company issued a statement that there has been no compromise with the customer’s data, and the malware is “no longer presents a threat”. The statement was issued after an extensive investigation was carried on by a third-party. According to the company, the issue has been resolved.

safe_share_padlockStarwoods has requested the customers to check and review their account statements. And in the case of any suspicion, they should contact their card issuer or the issuing bank immediately.

On the other hand, Marriott issued a warning about a phone call being made in their name. The caller offers a night’s free stay at one of their hotels for listening to their sales pitch. Although Marriott has not provided any details about the people involved in these fraudulent calls. However, the company has issued a statement stating that their commitment to protect their customer’s privacy and personal information remains a top priority for them.

Starwood has reportedly boosted up the security measures to avoid any such recurrences. While Marriot has been active in spreading awareness about the telephonic fraud. The companies have issued several notices and notifications for the same.

About Ali Raza

Ali Raza is a freelance journalist with extensive experience in marketing and management. He holds a master degree and actively writes about crybersecurity, cryptocurrencies, and technology in general. Raza is the co-founder of, too, a site dedicated to educating people on online privacy and spying.

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