20 Sep 2018

What does the British Airways cyber attack mean for customers?

Between the end of August and the start of September 2018, British Airways experienced a catastrophic cyber attack, which affected customers who booked directly through the BA website or App.


BA Cyber Threat

Alex Cruz, the British Airways Chief Executive, said that the hack was “a very sophisticated, malicious attack”. He described the cyber security breach as an unlawful act that allowed cybercriminals to steal both personal and financial information from more than 380,000 customers.

It has been reported that an unknown third party company notified BA of some ‘unusual activity’ which led to the uncovering of the data breach. The airline said that:

“once the theft was identified, we immediately acted to close down the issue and start an investigation as a matter of urgency.”


Huge Data Breach

The data breach mainly affected customers who had purchased their tickets online- either through the website or App. When a passenger makes a booking online, BA requires that they submit their:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Credit or debit card

BA has confirmed that all bank details are at risk, including the expiry date and security code (CVV). With this information, a fraudster could make online purchases, clone cards and even sell data to other criminals.


Have your details been stolen?

If you have any concerns that your data has been stolen, British Airways has released a statement explaining what you need to do if your details were stolen:

“If you believe you have been affected by this incident, then please contact your bank or credit card provider and follow their recommended advice.”


Be Cyber Safe with Cyber Essentials

If you are worried about the rise of cyber attacks and how they could affect your customers, Cyber Essentials certification can protect your customers and your business from the most common cyber threats.

To find out more about Cyber Essentials, download the free Cyber Essentials scheme summary.