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easyJet Suffers Cyber Attack Impacting 9 Million Customers
easyJet has admitted to suffering a security breach earlier this year where hackers gained access to personal information of nine million customers, including the credit card information of over 2,000 individuals.
The budget carrier reportedly became aware of this in January and begun contacting passengers whose credit card information had been compromised in April. The airline has subsequently made the “cyber-attack” information public to warn consumers of possible pashing attacks over email, as reported by the BBC. Thankfully, no passport information was stolen from the airline’s database.
easyJet, which flew 96 million passengers last year, informed the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office, who is now investigating the attack on the airline’s information systems.
In a statement, the airline said: “We take the cybersecurity of our systems very seriously and have robust security measures in place to protect our customers ‘ personal information. However, this is an evolving threat as cyber attackers get ever more sophisticated.” Those passengers who have had their credit card information stolen will be contacted by the airline by May 26.
easyJet, headquartered at London Luton Airport, is not the first U.K. carrier to suffer an information theft of this nature. Back in 2018, British Airways was the victim of a similar attack of which 500,000 costumers had their data taken by cyber-attackers, stealing passengers’ bank card information. Banks were given a list of costumers who were affected by the breach, which immediately notified consumers and provided them with a new card number.
As per General Data Protection Regulation data breaches, the British flag carrier was charged with a fine of £183 million by the ICO following the cyber attack. easyJet could as well suffer the same fate, but the cost of the fine is proportional to the individual finances of each business.
This doesn’t come at an ideal time for easyJet, which has had its fleet grounded since April amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The airline has secured a £600 million loan from the Treasury and Bank of England’s emergency coronavirus fund, to help keep operations afloat as its liquidity is cut short. easyJet’s 330 Airbus A320 fleet remains grounded until further notice, with the airline hoping to be able to resume operations by summer.
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