Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Finance | By Gustavo Carr

British Airways customer information ‘compromised’ in data theft

British Airways customer information ‘compromised’ in data theft

The airline says personal and financial details of customers making bookings over the period were compromised.

"The stolen data did not include travel or passport details", the airline said on a special webpage for people affected by the attack.

BA customer Daniel Willis, 34, who booked a flight on Monday with the airline, said he had not been contacted by the airline despite being affected by the data breach.

The airline had launched an investigation and was communicating with affected customers.

Police and authorities have already been notified as they are likely to have stolen information about the economic data of hundreds of thousands of travelers who have made an online booking in recent weeks.

Speaking on the BBC, Alex Cruz, BA's chairman and chief executive, said: "There was a very sophisticated, malicious criminal attack on our website".

"We take the protection of our customers' data very seriously", he said.

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To make matters worse, if BA is verified not to have taken appropriate measures to secure customer data, it can face a fine of up to $650 million due to the infamous GDPR regulation in place.

Another BA customer, Stephanie Jowers, said she contacted the airline hours before the hack was announced to query a suspicious charge on her account but was not informed it could have been compromised.

Neither Air Canada nor British Airways has publicly revealed how their respective services were breached. "According to reports, BA has reported the breach quickly and in a highly professional manner", he said. It also took out full page newspaper ads that included an apology.

Shares in British Airways' owner International Airlines Group dropped as much as 3.5% on Friday. It's the latest public relations problem for the airline, and follows a power surge past year at its control center near London's Heathrow International Airport that disrupted flights and stranded tens of thousands of passengers.

Speaking to Sky News, he said the online vulnerability had now been fixed after it was discovered on Wednesday, and indicated compensation could be a possibility for anyone who had lost money.

"One will be figuring out which cards have been compromised and alerting victims, whilst the other will be trying to abuse them while they are still fresh". If you receive any emails purporting to be from this incident or such like mentioning it asking for any personal information or to click on unverified links, discard them.

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