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BETHESDA, Md. (CBSMiami/AP) — South Florida travelers, have you stayed at a Starwood hotel recently? Marriott says its guest reservation system has been hacked, potentially exposing the personal information of approximately 500 million guests. The hotel chain said Friday the hack affects its Starwood reservation database, a group of hotels it bought in 2016 that includes the St. Regis, Westin, Sheraton and W Hotels.
Marriott said the hackers had gained “unauthorized access” to the Starwood reservation system since 2014, but the company only identified the issue last week.
The company said credit card numbers and expiration dates of some guests may have been taken. For about 327 million people, the information exposed includes some 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 guests, the information was limited to name and sometimes other data such as mailing address, email address or other information.
Marriott said that there was a breach of its database in September, which had guest information related to reservations at Starwood properties on or before Sept. 10.
Marriott discovered through the investigation that someone copied and encrypted guest information and tried to remove it.
“We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves. We are doing everything we can to support our guests, and using lessons learned to be better moving forward,” said CEO Arne Sorenson in a statement.
Marriott has set up a website and call center for anyone who thinks that they are at risk, and on Friday will begin sending emails to those affected.
Marriott and Starwood merged two years ago and attempts to combine the loyalty programs for the hotels have been marred by technical difficulties.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)