Last week, the Marriott hotel group disclosed that it had been the victim of what’s shaping up to be the second biggest data breach of all time. Few details have been made public on who might be responsible for the theft of data from 500 million guest records, but Reuters reports that investigators believe espionage by China is involved. According to Reuters, an independent investigative team that’s looking into the breach for Marriott found “hacking tools, techniques and procedures” that are associated with hacking groups working for Chinese intelligence. From the report: That suggests that Chinese hackers may have been behind a campaign designed to collect information for use in Beijing’s espionage efforts and not for financial gain, two of the sources said. While China has emerged as the lead suspect in the case, the sources cautioned it was possible somebody else was behind the hack because other parties had access to the same hacking tools, some of which have previously been posted online. Part of the reason that intelligence gathering is believed to have been the hacker’s motive is that they were inside Marriott’s Starwood reservation system for so long. The system was first infiltrated in 2014, according to the company, and they waited until now to scoop up millions of names, passport numbers, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, email addresses, and in some cases credit card information. Michael Sussmann, a former senior computer crimes specialist for the Department of Justice, told Reuters, “Patience is a virtue for spies,… [Read full story]
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