How did Air India suffer a massive data breach and why should you be concerned about it?

Alan Joseph Alan Joseph
May 24, 2021 4 min read
How did Air India suffer a massive data breach and why should you be concerned about it?

There has been a lot of recent incidents related to data breaches from different companies which include the top companies in and around the country. The most recent data breach was reported by the well-known airline of India, Air India. Let’s look at the information about the data breach faced by the airline.

About the Air India Data breach
What is SITA?
Details of the Air India Data breach
Steps taken by Air India after the Data Breach
How does the Data breach Affects you?
FAQ

About the Air India Data breach

Air India has conveyed that the data of millions of passengers have been compromised due to a cyber attack and it involves the personal data of the passengers registered between 26 August 2011 and 20 February 2021.

The airline has announced that the data breach had taken place due to a breach from the SITA passenger service system and the data breach involved the information of around 45 lakh passengers.

What is SITA?

SITA is a technology based company which is located in Switzerland. The company specializes in information technology and air transport communications. The country that was started with a 11-member airline now has a customer base of 2,500 customers in more than 200 countries across the globe.

Some of the services offered by the company include reservation systems, passenger processing, etc. In the year 2017 Air India had entered into a deal with SITA to enable the airlines to join Star Alliance by updating its IT infrastructure.


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Details of the Air India Data breach

In the month of March, Air India had communicated that SITA had been under a cyberattack in the last week of February which led to the leakage of personal information of its passengers.

The company in a statement had mentioned that the data of around 45 lakh passengers have been compromised due to the cyber attack from across the world. The personal data that were registered in between 26 August 2011 and 20 February 2011 have been compromised.

The company has conveyed that the data that were breached during the cyber attack included the name, date of birth, contact details, passport information, ticket information, frequent flyer data and even the credit card information.

Steps taken by Air India after the Data Breach

The airlines have conveyed that it would launch an investigation into the incident. Other than this they have conveyed that, they have taken steps to secure the compromised servers, engaging certain external specialists of data security incidents, resetting passwords of its frequent flyer programme and contacting the credit card customers.

Global Average Total cost of Data breach
Global Average Total cost of Data breach

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How does the Data breach Affects you?

This data breach would affect you as an individual only if you have used to airline services in between the mentioned dates. The important point is that the credit card information has also been compromised and it can be a threat to your credit card.

However, Air India has assured its passengers that they were no evidence of any misuse of the compromised data, the airline has asked everyone to change the passwords of their confidential data which includes your credit card password and frequent flyer programme.

FAQ

What data got leaked in the Air India data breach?

The personal data of around 45 lakh passengers were leaked, which includes name, date of birth, contact details, passport information, ticket information, frequent flyer data and even the credit card information.

How did Air India faced a data breach?

Air India announced that the data breach had taken place due to a breach from the SITA passenger service system.

Who took over Air India?

Tata Sons Ltd were the frontrunner in acquiring Air India.

Conclusion

Cyberattacks have been reported frequently by different companies and are posing a serious threat towards the privacy of individuals. The rise in digitalization across the globe has led to an increase in the cyber crimes and cyber attacks by the criminals.

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