Data Breach: Bangkok Airways Hit By Cyber Attack

Bangkok Airways is investigating a data breach that may have compromised passengers’ personal information. The airline discovered the breach on August 23rd and found that personal data, such as names, addresses, passports and partial credit information, may have been targeted. A cybercriminal gang has threatened to release the information if a ransom is not paid.

Data Breach: Bangkok Airways Hit By Cyber Attack
Bangkok Airways has been hit by a cyberattack that may have compromised passenger information. Photo: Getty Images

Data breach at Bangkok Airways

Hackers may have accessed sensitive passenger information during a system breach at Bangkok Airways. On 23rd August, the carrier discovered it ‘had been a victim of a cybersecurity attack which resulted in unauthorized and unlawful access to its information system.

After investigating the attack with the help of a cybersecurity team, the airline claims stored personal data on passengers may have been hacked. Three days after the attack, Bangkok Airways released a statement claiming that it ‘is investigating, as a matter of urgency, to verify the compromised data and the affected passengers.’

Data Breach: Bangkok Airways Hit By Cyber Attack
The airline is still investigating the extent of the breach. Photo: archer10 via Wikimedia Commons

The airline said,

“An initial investigation of the incident appeared to confirm that some of the personal data may have been accessed which are, passenger name, family name, nationality, gender, phone number, email, address, contact information, passport information, historical travel information, partial credit card information, and special meal information.”

Bangkok Airways reported the incident to the Royal Thai Police and continues to investigate the extent of the breach with a cybersecurity partner. A cybercriminal gang using LockBit ransomware has claimed responsibility for the attack. The gang issued a deadline (30th August), claiming it will release 103GB of compressed information if a ransom is not paid.

Bangkok Airways has clarified that the attack ‘did not affect the company’s operational or aeronautical security systems.’ The airline also said it is taking relevant measures to strengthen its IT systems.

Passengers warned to be vigilant

The airline has advised passengers to remain vigilant for scammers and take steps to secure their personal information. This includes contacting their bank to change passwords and security information. Passengers can also contact the airline by phone or email if they believe they have been affected by the breach.

bangkok airways
Bangkok Airways has warned of scammers impersonating the airline. Photo: Aero Icarus via Wikimedia Commons

Bangkok Airways advised,

“For primary prevention measures, the company highly recommends passengers to contact their bank or credit card provider and follow their advice and change any compromised passwords as soon as possible.”

Additionally, Bangkok Airways warns of scammers posing as airline representatives to conduct phishing attacks. The airline clarified that it ‘will not be contacting any customers asking for credit card details and any such requests.’

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Phuket – Samui flights resumed

Bangkok Airways has restarted direct flights between Phuket and Samui to support Thailand’s tourism recovery. The Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus Mode schemes aim to help the country’s faltering tourism industry rebound. From August 25th, flights will be served by the airline’s 70-seater ATR72-600s and operate every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Passengers flying between the two destinations will still need to show proof of a negative COVID test and proof of vaccination. Phuket is experiencing a surge in infections due to the Delta variant, putting the Phuket Sandbox project in doubt.

angkok Airways ATR 42-600 on final at Phuket airport
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) is allowing more domestic flights. Photo: Getty Images

Phuket governor Narong Woonciew said,

“We have to do everything we can to get through this difficult situation and hope case numbers will slow down. We have to join forces and move forward. This is a life-and-death situation for the future of Phuket Sandbox.”

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) recently announced the easing of restrictions on domestic flights from September 1st. It is hoped the move will reinvigorate the country’s tourism industry, which made up around 20% of its GDP before COVID.

Are you planning on visiting Thailand? Let us know your plans in the comments.

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