Air India has taken a serious note of leak of personal information of 45 lakh passengers over a 10-year period (2011-2021). While maintaining that there is “no evidence of misuse of this data”, the national carrier said on Saturday (May 22) that it has taken several measures to retain passenger confidence.
Among the steps taken by Air India are securing servers, engaging external data security specialists, notifying credit card issuers and reseting passwords of frequent flyers.
Air India promised its passengers of taking all precautions to ensure their data does not reach the wrong hands. It also said that passengers should change their log-in passwords immediately.
The Air India servers were hacked in February, which resulted in leak of data of 45 lakh passengers, the airline had said on Friday (May 21).
The information breach happened at the SITA passenger service system, which is primarily responsible for passenger information processing, providing reservation and many other services.
Air India and SITA had signed a pact in 2017 to upgrade the national carrier’s information technology (IT) set up. Accordingly, SITA brought in a new online booking system, departure control, check-in and automated boarding control, baggage reconciliation system and the frequent flyer programme.
SITA had first raised an alarm about data breach in the month of March. Accordingly, Air India was informed about the cyber attack that happened in February and was told that information of some number of passengers had been compromised.
SITA had notified that information like name, age, address, passport info, travel history, credit card details etc of lakhs of passengers from all over the world, registered between August 26, 2011 and February 20, 2021, had got leaked. Air India, however, clarified that while credit card details got leaked, the CVV/CVC numbers, which are necessary to complete transactions, were not held by ts processor.
SITA is a Swiss tech firm, specializing in air transport communications. Air India is one of its thousands of customers spread across continents.