Air India breach compromised data for 4.5 million passengers

·Associate Editor
·1 min read

Air India just suffered one of the larger (though not largest) airline data breaches in recent memory. The Times of India reports Air India has revealed that a breach compromised about 4.5 million passengers whose data was registered at system provider SITA between August 2011 and late February 2021. The intruders couldn't obtain passwords, but they had access to names, contact info, tickets and frequent flyer info (including for Star Alliance).

The perpetrators also had access to credit card info, although the usefulness of that data might be limited as the CVV/CVC numbers weren't included.

The airline said it first learned of the incident on February 25th (and issued a warning on March 19th), but that it only learned the identities of affected passengers on March 25th and May 4th. It was already investigating the breach and had locked down the affected servers, including resetting passwords for its frequent flyer program.

It's not clear who was responsible for the breach. However, the damage isn't limited to one airline. STIA told BleepingComputer in a statement that customers from several airlines were victims, including travelers who flew with Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Jeju Air, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, SAS and Singapore Airlines. While this isn't as large as the 2018 Cathay Pacific breach that touched up to 9.4 million customers, the repercussions could be felt worldwide for a while to come.

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