Information Technology News & Information Tech Tips

Unfortunately, this attack may affect those of you who travel the most. If you have stayed at any of the following Starwood brand hotels, including the Marriot, your information could have been compromised.

  • Westin
  • Sheraton
  • The Lucury Collection
  • Four Points by Sheraton
  • W Hotels
  • St. Regis
  • Le Méridien
  • Aloft
  • Element
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • Design Hotels

If you have stay at one of the hotels, it is in your best interest that you assume your information has been compromised! Take precautions and prepare yourself for a variety of social engineering attacks.

What to Look For

Spear Phishing Alert: Starwood Preferred Guests accounts have been breached, therefore it is likely that attackers have access to both your work and personal email addresses. Now, having your email address, attacks will send you emails that appear to be from real corporations, in an attempt to gain further access to your personal information! Be on patrol for these kinds of email, and if you do spot one, mark it as spam and report it immediately

Copycat Phishing and SMS Phishing: With your information now floating around in the wild, attackers will try numerous methods in order to gain further access into your personal information! Marriot has made a statement saying it would email any Starwood Preferred Guests as well as those who may be impacted. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the attackers will now always be sending you and email that will look almost identical. Therefore, to air on the side of caution, do not open any emails, click on any links, or download any attachments that have come from the Marriott or Starwood Hotels. Furthermore, do not respond to any voicemails, or texts that claim they are representatives from the hotels listed above. Instead, look up the hotel and call them directly yourself!

Have a Chat with Accounting: Odds are you have a business credit card, and if you have stayed at one of the following hotels in the past 4 years, odds are the bad guys have that same exact card now. Therefore, ask accounting to watch the card for any suspicious activity! If you use your own credit card and get reimbursed, call your bank and inform them of the situation, change your password, and monitor your account closely!

Do Not Search for “WebWatcher”: Marriott is offering those who were targeted in the US, Canada, and the UK, a free, one year subscription to a Kroll Identity Service called “WebWatcher”. This service monitors “internet sites where personal information is shared”. Decoded that means they watch hacking sites on the deep web for compromised data records. DO NOT search the web for this program. This search will lead you to programs that, while they carry the same name,  are hosts to spyware and other dangerous viruses.  If you want to sign up for the free monitoring service, follow the links at to country specific versions.

Traveling Safe

When leaving for an office trip or vacation make sure you:

  • before leaving the office
  • while packing
  • in the taxi
  • at the airport
  • in flight
  • at meetings and conferences
  • at the hotel

Following these steps will make sure that you are secure when traveling!