INSTEAD of using physical cards for online payments, people should use electronic cards.
Kaspersky Lab, a Russian global cybersecurity company, issued this advice in the wake of recent cyberattacks around the world, one of the most recent ones perpetrated against The Marriott Group.
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Private information of about half a billion guests at Marriott International from its Starwood division’s guest reservation database was exposed in the data breach, reports from Forbes.com showed.
It revealed the massive data breach in a statement on November 30, saying the incident was compromised by an unauthorized third party.
Details about payment information, names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and passport numbers were exposed in the breach.
Marriott is a United States hotel giant operating some 6,500 hotels located in 127 countries, according to Telegraph.co.uk.
In relation with the hacking attack, Kaspersky Lab issued the advice as shown in an email sent to SDN — Scitech and Digital News.
“Our advice to people is to definitely change your passwords and use electronic cards, not physical ones, for online payments,” David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.
Here’s what the cybersecurity firm through Emm said on the Marriott data breach:
“This is one of the largest data breaches we’ve ever seen. The Marriott Group is a respected international hotel chain but questions need to be asked as to how 500 million guests have been affected by this cyber-attack.
“While we’re still only beginning to assess the true extent of the attack, ultimately the security solutions the Starwood Hotels and Marriott Group had in place clearly weren’t sufficient enough if it allowed an unauthorized third-party to get into the system. The data was encrypted, but the attackers potentially stole the keys too – highlighting that an extra layer of security should have been in place to prevent this happening.
“This data breach is now one of the most critical data-breaches in history. Not only is the amount of the information stolen terrifying, but the personal details that were exposed are essentially a database of very personal resumes of millions of people, in some cases accompanied by their credit card details. This opens the possibility of multiple threats, from spear-phishing attacks, to cyber espionage. An incident of such scale will definitely be a push for some major changes in privacy policies and personal attitudes towards the data we share.
“Consumers who are concerned about their data will receive a notification if they’ve been affected, but we urge those who are concerned to proactively check with Marriott Group. We also warn consumers to remain vigilant, as these types of breaches present scammers with an opportunity to use the opportunity to try and scam people by pretending to be from the Ex-Starwood hotels chain or Marriott Group.
“Our advice to people is to definitely change your passwords and use electronic cards, not physical ones, for online payments.” (Kaspersky Lab)