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Marriott Responds to Security Breach at Epsilon

April 5, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent

Marriott International reacted promptly to a data security breach by Epsilon, a technology service provider, that was hit by a computer hacker who got access to e-mail addresses in Epsilon’s database. The breach included e-mail addresses of some Marriott guests.

In a statement, Marriott said it had a long-standing commitment to protecting the privacy of the personal information of its guests and that it takes the security of information in its possession and control very seriously.

“Tampering with systems by an unauthorized person or persons is of course an illegal act and the incident was reported to a law enforcement agency which is currently investigating this matter,” Marriott said.

“The unauthorized person(s) had access to names and e-mail addresses only. They did not have access to sensitive customer information, such as physical addresses, point balances, account logins and passwords, credit card information or other personal data,” Marriott said.

Irving, TX- based Epsilon said that the March 30 incident was detected when a subset of Epsilon clients’ customer data were exposed by an unauthorized entry into Epsilon’s e-mail system.

“The information that was obtained was limited to email addresses and/or customer names only. A rigorous assessment determined that no other personal identifiable information associated with those names was at risk. A full investigation is currently underway,” Epsilon said.

In an April 4 update, Epsilon said that the total number of affected clients are approximately 2 percent of total clients and are a subset of clients for which Epsilon provides e-mail services.

Epsilon is a permission-based e-mail marketing firm with more than 2,500 clients.

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By George Dooley | April 5, 2011
An Epsilon security breach exposed some Marriott guests' e-mail address information.
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