The Keller Lenkner UK Data Breach team has been contacted by serval people about another airline data breach. This follows two BA data breaches in 2018, and a third in 2019, and an EasyJet data breach in 2020.
On this occasion, the breach relates to the SITA bookings and reservations system which provides services to many airlines worldwide.
In response to this latest breach, some passengers are rightly asking whether they run the risk of data privacy risks every time they purchase flight tickets.
What happened in the airline data breach?
On 24 February 2021, SITA suffered a “highly sophisticated” attack on its IT systems. SITA stored passenger details on its servers, and some of that information may have been accessed. As a result, millions of passengers could now be compromised.
Are you involved in the SITA data breach?
SITA has contacted all affected customers (and the related airlines) to let them know about the data breach. If you are concerned – especially if you are a frequent flyer – and you have not received an email about this breach, it is worth checking your spam folder to be sure.
At this stage, it does not appear that passwords or payment methods were compromised. However, savvy cybercriminals can cause significant damage with just names and email addresses, so airline passengers should take steps to protect themselves. In particular, people should beware of scammers who claim to be from an airline in an attempt to extract further information from them.
Is British Airways affected by this data breach?
SITA is not British Airways’ booking and reservations system provider, and British Airways’ systems were not compromised in this attack. However, in an email to its Executive Cub members, BA states that:
“Along with many other airlines, we do share limited information with partner airlines in order to enhance your experience when flying with them. We have been notified by SITA that some British Airways Executive Club Members’ names, membership numbers and some of their preferences, such as seating, has been impacted.”
As a precaution, BA has asked all members to reset their passwords before regaining full access to their accounts.
Millions of travellers are at risk
Airlines handle a lot of sensitive personal data. And it is vital that this is kept safe. However, all too often these companies are letting customers down and there has been a massive increase in the number of attacks targeted at the scheduled passenger air transportation sector.
The SITA airline data breach has exposed potentially millions of passenger details. Several airlines around the globe are thought to have been affected including Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Jeju Air of Korea, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, SAS, Singapore Airline, Air New Zealand, Air China, Swiss and Air Canada. However, because airlines often share passenger data, many others could also be exposed.
If your data has been compromised in an airline data breach, contact our expert data breach lawyers to discuss a compensation claim.