Story image

Details of 9mil compromised in Cathay Pacific data leak

26 Oct 2018

Cathay Pacific has discovered unauthorised access to some of its information system containing passenger data of up to 9.4 million people. 

The following personal data was accessed: passenger name; nationality; date of birth; phone number; email; address; passport number; identity card number; frequent flyer programme membership number; customer service remarks; and historical travel information.

In addition, 403 expired credit card numbers were accessed.

Twenty-seven credit card numbers with no CVV were accessed. The combination of data accessed varies for each affected passenger.

Cathay Pacific has notified the Hong Kong Police and is notifying the relevant authorities. 

Upon discovery, the company took action to investigate and contain the event. 

It has no evidence that any personal information has been misused.

The IT systems affected are separate from its flight operations systems, and there is no impact on flight safety. 

On a statement on its website, Cathay Pacific chief executive officer Rupert Hogg says, “We are very sorry for any concern this data security event may cause our passengers.

“We acted immediately to contain the event, commence a thorough investigation with the assistance of a leading cybersecurity firm, and to further strengthen our IT security measures.

“We are in the process of contacting affected passengers, using multiple communications channels, and providing them with information on steps they can take to protect themselves. 

“We have no evidence that any personal data has been misused. No-one’s travel or loyalty profile was accessed in full, and no passwords were compromised.”

Hogg adds “We want to reassure our passengers that we took and continue to take measures to enhance our IT security. The safety and security of our passengers remains our top priority.”

Mimecast country manager Nick Lennon says, “The Cathay Pacific breach is very concerning in terms of its scale and length of time taken to alert affected customers. It’s likely that EU citizens were included in a breach of this size and GDPR questions will be asked.

“Once personal information is compromised, cybercriminals can implement highly targeted spear-phishing and social engineering attacks, often via impersonation emails against friends or business contacts. These impersonation attacks are now the easiest way for criminals to steal money and valuable data.

Lennon says, “Notified customers should change passwords as precaution and alert their employer’s IT security teams to help look out for attacks misusing their personal information.”

New threat rears its head in new malware report
Check Point’s researchers view Speakup as a significant threat, as it can be used to download and spread any malware.
Oracle updates enterprise blockchain platform
Oracle’s enterprise blockchain has been updated to include more capabilities to enhance development, integration, and deployment of customers’ new blockchain applications.
Used device market held back by lack of data security regulations
Mobile device users are sceptical about trading in their old device because they are concerned that data on those devices may be accessed or compromised after they hand it over.
Gartner names ExtraHop leader in network performance monitoring
ExtraHop provides enterprise cyber analytics that deliver security and performance from the inside out.
Symantec acquires zero trust innovator Luminate Security
Luminate’s Secure Access Cloud is supposedly natively constructed for a cloud-oriented, perimeter-less world.
Palo Alto releases new, feature-rich firewall
Palo Alto is calling it the ‘fastest-ever next-generation firewall’ with integrated cloud-based DNS Security service to stop attacks.
The right to be forgotten online could soon be forgotten
Despite bolstering free speech and access to information, the internet can be a double-edged sword, because that access to information goes both ways.
Opinion: 4 Ransomware trends to watch in 2019
Recorded Future's Allan Liska looks at the past big ransomware attacks thus far to predict what's coming this year.