Published: Fri, December 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Marriott Hack Could Boost Tensions Between U.S., China

Marriott Hack Could Boost Tensions Between U.S., China

They also said that the hackers believed to be behind the Marriott data breach were connected to cyberattacks against insurance companies as well as the theft of United States security clearance files.

The data breach that exposed personal data of around 500 million guests of the hotel chain is believed to part of a Chinese state-run espionage operation, according to multiple sources briefed on the USA government's investigation that spoke with the and.

Checking into a Marriott operated hotel in China means your data is in Chinese Government hands.

Marriott acquired Starwood, which includes such brands as Sheraton, W Hotels and St. Regis, in 2016.

The report notes that U.S. intelligence agencies have not yet completed their investigation into the Marriott hack and nailed down who is responsible, but "a range of firms brought in to assess the damage quickly saw computer code and patterns familiar to operations by Chinese actors".

The Times also reports that hackers also gained access to health insurers and security clearance files of millions of Americans.

Following a company-wide database assessment, Marriott concluded on November 19 the breach occurred on Starwood's network and that unauthorized activity has taken place on its servers since 2014, which included duplicating and encrypting data.

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"It's about intelligence, human intelligence", he said.

This finger pointing at China comes at a time when the United States has said it's facing increasing amours of attacks from the pseudo-socialist nation.

White House national security adviser John Bolton recently told reporters he believed Beijing was behind the Office of Personnel Management hack, a claim first made by the USA in 2015. However, according to the report, speculation about the group being responsible for the hack has been denied by Chinese officials.

After details regarding the data breach were made public, a class-action lawsuit against Marriott was filed seeking $12.5bn in damages on behalf of the affected customers.

Prosecutors allege Yanjun Xu recruited employees of major aerospace companies, including GE Aviation, and attempted to persuade them to travel to China under the guise of giving a presentation at a university.

The Justice Department is training prosecutors across the country to bring more of these cases, US Assistant Attorney General John Demers told the Senate Judiciary Committee. "We can not tolerate a nation that steals the fruit of our brainpower", he said.

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