British Airways says customer information stolen in data breach

British Airways breach sees hackers take-off with customers' payment details

British Airways breach sees hackers take-off with customers' payment details

Hackers obtained the credit card details of some 380,000 British Airways travellers during a two-week data breach this summer that leaves the customers vulnerable to financial fraud, the airline says.

"If the timeline is confirmed and BA became aware of the breach on the evening of September 5, then they have done their breach notification on time, which is of course a good thing", she said in a statement.

We also asked if a third-party was involved with British Airways investigation, a spokesperson would only say, "a third-party noticed some unusual activity and informed us about it. We take the protection of our customers' data very seriously", read the official statement.

A 57-year-old Londoner, who also preferred not to give her name, said she is yet to receive any communication from the airline despite someone using her card details to make a purchase.

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Mark Adams, Regional Vice President of UK & Ireland, Veeam, noted that the fact British Airways reported the breach so quickly is a positive.

Investors were understandably concerned by the news, and shares in IAG sold off sharply at the market open on Friday.

BA has, so far, not detailed the means by which the hackers gained access to the customer data.

British Airways disclosed on September 7 that it was the victim of a data breach that exposed details on 380,000 customers. This month's data breach has not affected scheduled flights. The company did say that travel and passport details were not part of the breach. If the company is hit with the maximum fine, 4% of global turnover, it's likely to be as high as £500 million, based on BA's 2017 revenue reports. The important thing now, said the cybersecurity expert, is for the firm to take this opportunity to improve their security measures. Customers who used either the website or the mobile app during the above time period are encouraged to contact their financial institution for advise.

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Following the breach, one consultant said there needed to be "more consistency in security and app performance in the airline industry".

Anyone who believes they might have been affected is urged to contact their bank or credit card provider and follow their recommended advice.

Call your bank or card issuer, cancel the card and request a new card.

In July, almost 7,000 passengers had their flights to or from Heathrow cancelled after a failure of an IT system provided to BA by Amadeus, a Spanish IT provider for global travel industry.

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