Cathay Pacific breach: Information of 9.4 million passengers stolen, including passport and credit card details

Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific YouTube grab

Cathay Pacific has said that its information systems have been hacked and the personal data of about 9.4 million flyers have been stolen. The breach was discovered during a review of its IT security processes, it said and will reportedly also affect its partner airline Hong Kong Dragon Airlines.

The breach includes details such as passengers' names, dates of birth, telephone numbers, nationality, email and postal addresses, travel history, passport numbers and credit card information.

While the airline has said that it has no evidence that the stolen data has been misused, it did say that about 8,60,000 passport numbers and 2,40,000 Hong Kong ID card numbers were accessed. Cathay Pacific also said that 403 expired credit card numbers were accessed and 27 credit card numbers with no CVV were compromised.

The airline has clarified that its information system is completely different from its flight operation system and hence, there are no concerns of flight safety.

The flag carrier of Hong Kong has now apologised for the breach and said that immediate action was taken.

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," said Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Rupert Hogg in a statement.

"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," the official added.

The Cathay Pacific hack comes just a month after British Airways was hit by a similar breach. The airline had admitted that it had lost the data of 360,000 passengers. The stolen information included personal and financial information. Other airlines such as Air Canada and Delta Airlines too have had such issues in the past.