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Marriott sign Hospitality was the third-most targeted industry after retail and finance, according to a report this year from information-security firm Trustwave Holdings. Above, Marriott International Inc. signage is displayed outside company’s headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Long before Marriott International Inc. disclosed a massive security breach, the hotel industry had earned the dubious reputation as a hospitable place for hackers.

Thieves have skimmed credit cards, looted loyalty accounts, and mounted complex schemes to trick clerks into downloading malicious software. In one elaborate series of attacks known as DarkHotel, networks at individual properties were hijacked to spy on corporate executives and politicians. In a cruder ploy, crooks have even seized control of a keyless entry system, locking down rooms until the hotel owner paid a ransom.

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