BA data hack affects hundreds of thousands

10 September 2018 08:25

BA is contacting customers affected by the security breach

BA is contacting customers affected by the security breach

British Airways customers are cancelling their credit cards after the carrier was hit by a 15-day data breach that compromised the details of around 380,000 people.

The airline revealed that "criminal activity" had compromised payments made between 11pm on August 21 and 9.45pm on September 5.

BA is investigating the security breach "as a matter of urgency" and is contacting affected customers.

Deeply sorry

Under new data protection rules, the airline was obliged to issue a breach notification within 72 hours of it being detected.

BA said on Thursday evening: "British Airways is investigating, as a matter of urgency, the theft of customer data from its website, ba.com and the airline's mobile app. The stolen data did not include travel or passport details.

"The breach has been resolved and our website is working normally."

Alex Cruz, BA's chairman and chief executive, said it was "deeply sorry for the disruption that this criminal activity has caused".

"We take the protection of our customers' data very seriously," he said.

Suspicious activity

Banks including NatWest and RBS attempted to reassure worried BA customers that they have "significant" levels of security in place, although they advised account holders to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity.

Which? said it was "vital" BA moved quickly to ensure affected customers get clear information and what steps they need to take to protect themselves.

"British Airways customers will be concerned to hear about this data breach," said consumer group's Alex Neill.

"Anyone concerned they could be at risk of fraud should consider changing their online passwords, monitor bank and other online accounts and be wary of emails regarding the breach as scammers may try and take advantage of it."

The incident comes after an IT meltdown caused huge disruption for BA passengers at the start of the May half-term holiday.

Some 75,000 passengers were left stranded after a glitch forced the airline to cancel nearly 726 flights over three days.

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