Massive cyber-attack hits British Airways, 380,000 bank cards details stolen
London, September 7, 2018 (AltAfrica)-British Airways has called in police after a massive cyber hack saw the personal and financial details of its customers stolen – with 380,000 bank cards compromised.
The airline admitted Wednesday night it is investigating “as a matter of urgency” the theft of customer data from its website and mobile app.
The airline says hackers took data over a period of 16 days before being detected, but it has now closed the breach.
BA said it was communicating with customers that had been affected and the chairman said they are “deeply sorry”.
It advised anyone who believes they may have been affected to contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their advice.
They added that they have notified the police and all relevant authorities after they made the discovery last night.
The stolen data did not include travel or passport details, the airline said.
It added that the breach has been resolved and the website is working normally.
In a statement, the airline said: “From 22:58 BST August 21 2018 until 21:45 BST September 5 2018 inclusive, the personal and financial details of customers making bookings on ba.com and the airline’s app were compromised.”
“British Airways is communicating with affected customers and we advise any customers who believe they may have been affected by this incident to contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their recommended advice.
“We have notified the police and relevant authorities… [and] will continue to keep our customers updated with the very latest information. We will be contacting customers and will manage any claims on an individual basis.”
BA is the latest major UK company to report such an attack – seemingly the largest since the owner of Currys PC World, Dixons Carphone, admitted in early summer that nine million of its customers had been hit by a data breach.
The theft is also likely to lead to a union backlash after criticism of the airline’s decision to outsource IT work to India.
The issue came to the fore after a costly IT failure last year that left 75,000 passengers stranded.
“We take the protection of our customers’ data very seriously.”