Frequent flyer accounts belonging to British Airways passengers have been breached by cyber criminals.
While the airline has reassured passengers that no personal information has been viewed or stolen, it has frozen specific accounts while it works out how to tackle the issue. As a result, top executive club flyers may not be able to use their points until the problem is fixed.
British Airways has been quick to confirm that just a small percentage of its customers were affected by the incident and clarified that no names, addresses, bank details or other personal information was accessed.
It is not known if any particular group were connected to the hack, but it is believed to have been carried out by an automated computer program that was searching for vulnerabilities in the business’ online security systems.
A spokesperson for BA explained: “British Airways has become aware of some unauthorised activity in relation to a small number of frequent-flyer executive club accounts.
“This appears to have been the result of a third party using information obtained elsewhere on the internet, via an automated process, to try and gain access to some accounts.”
The airline also stressed that it is not aware of any access being made to pages within accounts, particularly travel histories or payment-card details.
With data breaches increasing in recent years, it is more important than ever before that businesses set up secure passwords for all of their accounts and act quickly whenever they believe they have been a victim of cyber crime.
While this incident may have been an internal error, data breaches can occur regularly with personal accounts. To reduce the chances of being hacked, people should choose passwords made up of numbers, letters and other symbols and avoid common phrases.