More details to follow
easyJet says it has been hacked in a “highly sophisticated” (aren’t they all?) breach that saw the email and travel details of nine million customers stolen.
“Our forensic investigation found that, for a very small subset of customers (2,208), credit card details were accessed”, the budget airline added.
The attack comes at the worst possible time for the airline, with business frozen and the company having had to scramble to repatriate around 45,000 customers in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
easyJet has notified the ICO and in theory faces the prospect of a substantial fine under GDPR. Affected customers will be notified by May 26. The company did not say when the breach occurred or when it became aware of it.
(The ICO has said it will take a lenient approach to reporting amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Critics say it has effectively “downed tools”, as Wired notes.)
The ICO in July 2019 said it would be fining British Airways £183.39 million for its own string of security failings, which included a Magecart-style card-skimming attack on its website.
easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said: “We take the cyber security 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.
“Since we became aware of the incident, it has become clear that owing to COVID-19 there is heightened concern about personal data being used for online scams. As a result, and on the recommendation of the ICO, we are contacting those customers whose travel information was accessed and we are advising them to be extra vigilant.
The company promised to “continue to invest to further enhance our security environment” and warned customers to be alert to phishing attacks in the coming weeks.
Security firm SonicWall‘s Terry Greer-King, VP EMEA, said: “Attacks such as the one on Easyjet should remind CTOs, CIOs and CISOs to implement security best practices like a layered approach to protection, and update any out-of-date security devices, applications or systems as a matter of course.
“Businesses should be working very closely with their security providers to gain a clear and real-time picture of security risks and the impact they could potentially pose to their organization. It is certain that stakeholder confidence will be shaken as a result [of this breach]. Under GDPR, Easyjet may also expect a hefty fine along the lines of the British Airways and Marriot fines.
Do you have more details on the breach/threat vector? Get in touch on ed dot targett at cbronline dot com