Hackers take on unsuspecting airliners, exposing customer data

Hackers have a newfound interest in gaining access to airliners’ customer information

Cyberattacks have been on the rise since the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Most recently, threat actors have identified a new target, airliners. According to Cyware, hackers’ newfound interest in airliners suggests they’re interested in accessing passenger data.

“Hackers are increasingly targeting airlines, due to their huge dependence on computer networks for everything from customer-facing activities such as bookings and support, to vast back-office functions which often affect multiple entities involved in the aviation business,” Cyware explained in its report.

If you’re an avid reader of the news, you likely know hackers most recently targeted EasyJet. In a statement released in response to the hack, the airliner admitted hackers had breached its systems and gained access to customers’ email addresses and travel details. Up to 2,208 customers also had their credit card details exposed during the breach.

EasyJet isn’t the only airliner to fall victim to hackers. In January, hackers gained access to SpiceJet’s systems, exposing the private information of 1.2 million customers. Transavia, a low-cost Dutch airliner, also suffered a cyberattack earlier this year that exposed 80,000 passengers’ data.  

According to SITA, though, only 35% of airlines and 30% of airports are prepared to face such attacks. Fortunately, authorities have been steadfast in encouraging airliners to consider breach detection and prevention services. 

Cathay Pacific Airways Limited can attest to this, as the airliner was recently fined £500,000 by the UK's Information Commissioner’s Office after failing to secure customer data. Unfortunately for the airliner, the lack of protection led to approximately 9.4 million customers’ personal data being exposed.

When all is said and done, airliners can mitigate their exposure to nefarious hackers through encryption software and multifactor authentication when dealing with sensitive customer details. Providing employees with adequate training to avoid such incidents has its benefits too.

Featured Resources

The ultimate law enforcement agency guide to going mobile

Best practices for implementing a mobile device program

Free download

The business value of Red Hat OpenShift

Platform cost savings, ROI, and the challenges and opportunities of Red Hat OpenShift

Free download

Managing security and risk across the IT supply chain: A practical approach

Best practices for IT supply chain security

Free download

Digital remote monitoring and dispatch services’ impact on edge computing and data centres

Seven trends redefining remote monitoring and field service dispatch service requirements

Free download

Recommended

Organizations warned of ransomware risk from smaller operators
ransomware

Organizations warned of ransomware risk from smaller operators

19 Oct 2021
Iranian hacking group continues to target US citizens
hacking

Iranian hacking group continues to target US citizens

18 Oct 2021
MirrorBlast phishing campaign targets financial companies
phishing

MirrorBlast phishing campaign targets financial companies

15 Oct 2021
Kaspersky exposes MysterySnail zero-day exploit in Windows
zero-day exploit

Kaspersky exposes MysterySnail zero-day exploit in Windows

13 Oct 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
HPE wins networking contract with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Network & Internet

HPE wins networking contract with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

15 Oct 2021
What is cyber warfare?
Security

What is cyber warfare?

15 Oct 2021