British Airways data breach affects almost 400,000 customers, airline promises compensation



Updated

September 07, 2018 22:27:04

Hackers have obtained the credit card details of some 380,000 British Airways travellers during a two-week data breach that left the customers vulnerable to financial fraud, the airline says.

Key points:

  • Hackers stole card numbers, expiration dates and security codes
  • BA’s CEO said it was a “sophisticated, malicious” attack
  • Some travellers said they noticed fraudulent activity before the breach was detected

British Airways CEO Alex Cruz said enough data was stolen to allow criminals to use credit card information for illicit purposes, and police were investigating.

“We know that the information that has been stolen is name, address, email address, credit card information,” he told the BBC.

“That would be credit card number, expiration date and the three-letter code in the back of the credit card.”

He added that no passport data had been obtained in what he called a “very sophisticated, malicious criminal attack,” but that British Airways is “100 per cent committed” to compensating customers.

The hack was not discovered until September 5 and has now been resolved, officials said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokeswoman said the Government was aware of the cyberattack and authorities were working to better understand the incident.

“We are aware of the reports and the National Cyber Security Centre and the National Crime Agency are working to better understand what has happened,” she said.

Some angry travellers complained to Britain’s Press Association that they had already noted bogus activity on credit cards that had been used to make British Airways bookings during the time when the breach was undetected.

The hack once again puts the spotlight on the strength of the IT systems at major companies as they expand their digital services.

British Airways experienced an IT-related crisis in May last year when roughly 75,000 passengers were stranded, after the airline cancelled more than 700 flights over three days because of system problems.

In the US, Delta Airlines said in April that payment-card information for several hundred thousand customers could have been exposed by a malware breach months earlier. The same breach also hit Sears Holdings Corp, which operates Kmart stores in the US.

AP

Topics:

air-transport,

industry,

hacking,

law-crime-and-justice,

united-kingdom

First posted

September 07, 2018 22:11:05





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