Marriott’s Encryption Exposed: Hotel Giant’s Data Breach Undermined by Flawed Crypto Claims

Looking for secure encryption at Marriott? Think again. Turns out the hotel giant was hashing out your data with SHA-1, a method even your grandma knows is about as cryptic as her crossword puzzle strategy. #EncryptionOopsie

Hot Take:

Well, well, well, if it isn’t the old “Whoops, we used the digital equivalent of a wet paper bag to protect your precious data” routine from Marriott. Breaking News: SHA-1 is to modern encryption what a padlock is to Fort Knox. And just like that, Marriott’s “AES-128” claim turned out to be the hospitality industry’s version of “The dog ate my homework.”

Key Points:

  • Marriott’s been caught with its cryptographic pants down, having used SHA-1 instead of the promised AES-128 encryption during its 2018 data breach.
  • SHA-1 is about as secure as a screen door on a submarine, which is to say, not at all.
  • Up to 380 million people might want to give side-eye to their passport and card details, which were under the “protection” of Marriott’s SHA-1.
  • A two-sentence footnote was Marriott’s idea of coming clean about the encryption faux pas. Talk about a footnote in cybersecurity history!
  • Marriott’s cybersecurity “Who’s Who” lineup of Verizon and CrowdStrike initially missed the memo on the SHA-1 snafu.

Need to know more?

Encryption Enigma

Picture this: It's 2018, and Marriott is strutting around like the Fort Knox of data protection. Suddenly, a wild data breach appears, and Marriott is all "Fear not, dear guests, for we have AES-128 encryption!" Fast forward to now, and it turns out, their "secure encryption" was actually SHA-1, the cryptographic equivalent of a chocolate teapot. Judge Bailey, clearly not amused by Marriott's version of hide-and-seek with the truth, gave them a one-week timeout to get their story straight.

Update of Little Faith

Marriott, in a move that screams "Oopsie daisy," slipped a two-sentence mea culpa into a security note from yesteryear, basically whispering, "P.S., we didn't actually use AES-128, LOL." Cryptographers around the globe facepalmed as Marriott's "encryption" was outed as SHA-1, a relic that's about as robust as wet tissue paper. Fuad Hamidli and Phil Smith, encryption gurus, can't even with SHA-1 and are probably still shaking their heads in disbelief.

The Gang's All Here

In Marriott's corner, we have a lineup that reads like a cybersecurity Avengers team, with Verizon and CrowdStrike nodding along to the AES-128 narrative. But as the plot twisted, Marriott's rep, Lisa Ghannoum, was left to explain that, whoops, they only just figured out the encryption oopsie and pinky-promise they corrected it with "all due speed." Because nothing says urgency like a multi-year delay.

Pro Tip: Upgrade Your Security

Amidst Marriott's encryption escapades, TechRadar Pro remains the cybersecurity-conscious friend we all need, reminding us to beef up our digital defenses. They're dishing out advice on the best firewalls, shedding light on other hack attacks, and showcasing the crème de la crème of endpoint protection solutions. Because in a world where even hotel chains can't keep their encryption stories straight, we could all use a little extra cyber-savvy.

Benedict Collins: The Cyber Sleuth

And let's not forget about Benedict Collins, TechRadar Pro's own security sentinel, who's not just reporting the facts but also diving deep into the murky waters of phishing, malware, and cybercrime. Armed with a MA in Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy, and a BA in Politics with Journalism, Benedict is decoding the cyber world one state-sponsored attack at a time. So, if you're looking for a silver lining in the Marriott encryption saga, it's that Benedict's on the beat.

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Tags: AES-128 encryption, cryptographic methods, Cybersecurity Updates, data breach, Encryption Standards, Marriott data breach, SHA-1 vulnerability