Massive Cyberattack On Air India; Credit Cards, Passport Details Hacked

Air India reported a massive data breach in its passenger service system that affected the personal data of around 45 lakh subjects across the world over the last 10 years.

As per Air India’s statement, the breach involved personal data registered between August 26, 2011, and February 3, 2021, with details that included name, date of birth, contact information, passport information and ticket information. It also included Star Alliance, Air India frequent flyer data and credit card information. No password data was affected. CVV/CVC numbers were not held by the data processor that reported the breach.

“The SITA PSS, the data processor of the passenger service system (which is responsible for storing and processing of personal information of the passengers) had recently been subjected to a cybersecurity attack leading to personal data leak of certain passengers, This incident affected around 4,500,000 data subjects in the world” the airline’s statement said.

The first notification was the breach was notified on February 25, Air India said, adding that the identity of the affected data subjects was only provided to them by their data processor on March 25 and April 5.

“The present communication is an effort to apprise of accurate state of facts as on date and to supplement our general announcement of 19th March 2021 initially made via our website,” they said.

It further informed that several measures to ensure the safety of the data including investigating the data security incident, securing the compromised servers, engaging external specialists of data security incidents and notifying and liaising with the credit card issuers, were taken.

The airline has also reset passwords of the Air India FFP program, and requested passengers to change passwords wherever applicable to ensure safety of their personal data.

The airline said their data processor has ensured that no abnormal activity was observed after securing the compromised servers. While the airlines and the data processor continue to take remedial actions, it also encouranges passengers to change passwords wherever applicable to ensure safety of their personal data.

It added, “The protection of our customers’ personal data is of highest importance to us and we deeply regret the inconvenience caused and appreciate continued support and trust of our passengers.”


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