EasyJet targeted by cyberattack, sees 9 million of its customers affected

Following an official statement, British commercial aviation firm EasyJet said it was the victim of a computer attack.

According to experts, this computer attack would be "very sophisticated". It has allowed malicious cybers to take control of the personal data of more than 9 million people, all customers of the airline. An attack that sounds like a blow to EasyJet which is hard hit by this pandemic that has weakened its business.

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Among the information collected on the company's server by cyber criminals were email addresses, information about the various trips made by its customers and financial information such as credit card numbers and other identifiers. According to the company, customers whose financial information has been derived are already aware of the situation. The rest will be informed as they go until May 21. However, the aviator gave no details about the period of the cyberattack. However, it apologises to the victim clients and assures that the information used has not been used in any way.

Despite its "very sophisticated" nature, as described by an internal source with the airline, the cyberattack was quickly contained and eliminated from the system within a very limited time frame. Upon discovering the incident, the British company immediately notified the UK's cyber security agency, the NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) and the one responsible for regulating, framing everything related to the protection of personal data, the ICO. "Since we became aware of the incident, we have realized that because of COVID-19 there are strong fears about the use of personal data for online scams," says Johan Lundgren, the UK group's chief executive. As such, EasyJet has warned customers to pay close attention to their online behaviour "especially if they receive unsolicited requests," the Director-General adds.

For its part, the consumer association "Which? Requires the airline to provide more details about the cyberattack and potential incidents related to it. "For anyone who may be affected, it's important to change your password with EasyJet and other websites where you use the same, and keep an eye on your bank statements," noted Adam French of Which?.Their claim is based on the fact that this kind of cyber attack, especially of such magnitude, is rare in the United Kingdom. This is despite the fact that companies across different sectors are targeted on a regular basis. And this did not go unnoticed because Vodafone, another British giant, but telecoms this time had meant that it was doing everything possible to increase the security of its facilities and services. Because he had anticipated an increase in computer attacks because of the pandemic.

This umpteenth attack on commercial aviation proves how cybercriminals are diversifying the sectors they are increasingly targeting. Like EasyJet, British Airways, a competitor was also the victim of a cyber attack of this kind but in 2018. The consequences were roughly similar to the bus, the British firm had also lost financial information apartment to nearly 400,000 customers, and this in the middle of summer. The British giant was later fined 183 million pounds, imposed by the ICO's personal data regulation money, on the grounds that the company had not adequately protected its system by ricocheting its customers' data through a failing security system. A similar sanction could be expected for EasyJet, albeit less severe because of the current economic environment. Especially since the company is one of the few in the sector that has not laid off its employees although it has had to set up a process of partial unemployment.

The company's computer attack comes at a key moment, as a general meeting of shareholders is expected to take place in the coming weeks, with the aim of removing the current ruling class from its post. A resolution supported by the founder of the airline, Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

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