Kolkata, India: In the latest breach announced by a major airline, hackers obtained data on around 4.5 million Air India passengers around the world.
Air India stated in a statement posted late Friday that names, credit card numbers, and passport information were among the data stolen.
The state-owned conglomerate claimed it was “securing the affected servers” and cooperating with credit card firms as well as “external professionals” on data security.
“We deeply regret the inconvenience caused and appreciate the continued support and trust of our passengers,” the airline said.
In recent years, a number of airlines have experienced data breaches. After the information of 400,000 passengers was lost in a 2018 cyberattack, British Airways was fined $28 million by a British authority last year.
In 2018, Cathay Pacific was fined $700,000 after the personal information of more than nine million customers was lost.
Last year, low-cost carrier EasyJet revealed that hackers had stolen the email and travel information of almost nine million users.
In March, Air India said that it had been notified of a hack by its data processing company, SITA PSS, in February.
According to the airline, the breach affected personal data collected between August 2011 and February 2021.
At the time, SITA, which provides IT backup to most of the aviation industry, said it had been the victim of a “very sophisticated attack” that had impacted a number of airlines.
Air India is a member of the Star Alliance airline alliance, and SITA manages its frequent flyer program’s computer operations.
Other alliance members alerted passengers about the cyberattack in March, but most said only names and frequent flier numbers were accessed.