Data comprising of details of many airline passengers around the world has been hacked via a attack on the IT systems operator that serves around 90 per cent of the global aviation industry.
Sita, which serves the Star Alliance of airlines including Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and United, said on Thursday it had been the victim of a cyber attack.
The American company said the incident occurred on February 24, and might have led to a breach of passenger data held on its servers.
Sita took “immediate action” to contact affected customers and all related organisations, it said in a statement.
It added, “This was a highly sophisticated attack. Sita acted swiftly and initiated targetted containment measures. The matter remains under continued investigation by Sita’s security incident response team with the support of leading external experts in cyber-security.”
Sita had informed Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Finnair and a South Korean carrier called Jeju Air that their passengers had been affected by the breach of its passenger service system (PSS) servers.
Star Alliance, which also includes Air China, Swiss and Air Canada, shares data between carriers to ensure benefits can be spread among each member airline.
The breach was linked to frequent flyer data but was limited to “your name, tier status and membership number”, an email said. The data breach did not include any member passwords, credit card information or other personal customer data.