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W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton, Westin, Element, Aloft, The Luxury Collection, Le Méridien and Four Points -- do these hotels sound familiar to you? If you've stayed at one of them, maybe it's time to check your email to see if your personal data has been breached by hackers.
Hotel giant Marriott found that its subsidiary Starwood has become the victim of hacking since 2014. The breach may have impacted 500 million customers.
Leaked data generally include customers' names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and passport numbers. Some even contain credit card information.
This means that digital thieves can pretend to be you and go shopping with your money.
Marriott says the breach was discovered in September, and that victims who've had their information compromised are getting emails.
Regret and investigation
"We deeply regret this incident happened," Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson said in a statement. "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."
New York on Friday announced an investigation into the breach.
"New Yorkers deserve to know that their personal information will be protected," the city's Attorney General Barbara Underwood tweeted.
Marriott's problems in China
Marriott was involved in other incidents in China.
In January the company was found listing Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Tibet as "countries" on its website, which led to rebuke from the Chinese government that resulted in a temporary shut-down of the Marriott's online presence in China.
In the middle of November, a Chinese netizen posted hidden-camera footage showing five-star hotel staff cleaning cups with dirty towels. Sheraton hotels in Nanchang and Guiyang, both owned by Marriott, were in the video.
(Top picture: VCG File Photo)