The hack into the Marriott hotel chain that exposed the details of 500 million guests was part of a wider Chinese government-backed effort to gather intelligence on U.S. officials and executives with high-level security clearance, according to sources who spoke to the New York Times.
It is a sensitive time for these allegations to come out. The U.S. is preparing more punitive steps against what is said to be a sharp increase in Chinese government-sponsored hacking operations against U.S. assets. The New York Times says Marriott was attacked because it’s the top hotel for American government and military personal. Hackers were likely seeking to get passport details that would have allowed them to track personnels movement across borders.