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Current Affairs

Data breach at Air India

Date: 24 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A massive data breach at SITA has hit India’s National carrier, Air India. Lakhs of private data of its customers have become public.

 

Background

Cyber criminals have been targeting various firms in order to collect their data and sell it later. The victims include companies such as McDonalds.

 

Details

  • SITA is a company based in Switzerland and offers specialised services in the field of air transport communications and information technology.

  • SITA was started by 11 airlines to offer services for passengers such as reservation system, processing systems etc.

  • Air India had joined the SITA in 2017 to upgrade its IT infrastructure and offer better services for its customers. It has ambitions of joining the star alliance.

  • Various services offered to Air India include frequent flyer programme, boarding control, departure control system, booking engine, baggage control etc.

 

Leak of data

  • The leaked data include name of passengers, their contacts, birth date, ticket information, passport information, credit card information and frequent flyer data.

  • The attack was performed on the SITA server located in Geneva. Other airlines such as Singapore airlines, Lufthansa, Malaysian airlines etc were also impacted.

 

Response

The airlines has responded by changing passwords of frequent flyer data, notifying passengers to reset their passwords, engaging external data security specialists and securing compromised servers.