Monday , December 11 2023

Air Canada admits hack of employee data

Air Canada, the national airline of Canada, has acknowledged a “brief” breach in its security controls. Air Canada confirmed that an incident occurred, but they did not give details about when or how much personal information was accessed by the attacker.

“An unauthorized group briefly obtained limited access to an internal Air Canada system related to limited personal information of some employees and certain records,” the airline said Wednesday.

“We can confirm that our flight operations systems and customer-facing systems were not affected. No customer information was accessed. We have contacted parties whose information has been involved as appropriate, as well as the relevant authorities.

“We can also confirm all our systems are fully operational. We have since implemented further enhancements to our security measures, including with the help of leading global cyber security experts, to prevent such incidents in the future as part of our ongoing commitment to maintaining the security of the data we hold.”


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The airlines’ short statement suggests that they were able to quickly identify and remove an intruder who breached security controls.

One Canadian airline hit last year was charter operator Sunwing, following a cyberattack on the airlines’ check-in service supplier, Airline Choice.

David Shipley, the CEO of Beauceron Security in New Brunswick, is a frequent guest commentator on ITWC’s Cybersecurity podcast. He expressed his anticipation for Air Canada to provide further details regarding this cyberattack.

“There could be lots of valuable lessons for other organizations, and I’d love to see us move away from victims feeling like they can’t be more open about incidents for fear of being blamed,” he said in an email.

The statement suggests that they had an effective response plan and successfully managed to contain the incident. Every organization is susceptible to hacking, without exception. What truly matters is our response and our ability to support each other in our collective learning journey.

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