Something that might not bode well for an on-time flower delivery: it took 1-800 Flowers four years to discover that data pertaining to its Canadian customers was hacked. Private investigators investigating the matter have found out hacking techniques and tools that in the past have been accredited to the Chinese hackers.
If the investigation confirms China's involvement in the hack, that could strain the already tense relations between the the United States and China. Among the information that was compromised, Marriott has acknowledged such data includes names, mailing address, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers, date of birth, gender and more for about 327 million guests.
While regular users' passwords were stolen, people who used the site with anonymous guest accounts were reportedly safe from the breach. Concerned lawmakers on Capitol Hill urged Congress to pass data privacy and security protections to safeguard sensitive consumer information just hours after Marriott announced the data breach on Friday.
Marriott acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.
The hack began in 2014, shortly after an attack on the US government's Office of Personnel Management compromised sensitive data on tens of millions of employees, including application forms for security clearances.
China strongly denied the report.
"It fits with how the Chinese intelligence services think about things".
"As it relates to passports and potential fraud, we are setting up a process to work with our guests who believe that they have experienced fraud as a result of their passports being involved in this incident", Marriott told USA TODAY. "It's all very long range", said Anderson, who was not involved in investigating the Marriott case and is now a principal with Chertoff Group.
"One clue pointing to a government attacker is the amount of time the intruders were working quietly inside the network", he said.
Michael Sussmann, a former senior computer crimes specialist for the Department of Justice, told Reuters, "Patience is a virtue for spies, but not for criminals trying to steal credit card numbers".