Wednesday 24 October 2018 5:20 pm

Cathay Pacific rocked by data breach hitting as many as 9.4m passengers


Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific has become the latest airline to be stung by a vast data breach this afternoon, after admitting that someone gained “unauthorised access” to information of up to 9.4m passengers.

Roughly 860,000 passport numbers, about 245,000 Hong Kong identity card numbers, 403 expired credit card numbers and 27 credit card numbers with no card verification value (CVV) were accessed in the breach.

Passengers of Cathay and its unit Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited are being informed of the breach by airline staff today, with the company saying that it has no evidence of data being misued or accounts being compromised.

It is the latest airline to be embroiled in a data breach, coming a month after British Airways said that hackers stole the financial details of customers from its website and mobile app.

Air Canada has also recently revealed that its mobile app had been hacked in a breach that could affect as many as 20,000 people.

A number of UK firms have fallen victim to similar cyber attacks in recent months, with Dixons Carphone apologising in late July for a 2017 data breach that affected the personal data of nearly 9m extra people.

According to the European Aviation Safety Agency, there were 1,000 cyber attacks each month on aviation systems in 2016, with groups such as Vietnam Airlines having to carry out airport operations by hand after hackers corrupted the firm’s website.