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Monday, 08 March 2021 10:20

Airlines warn users after service provider SITA reveals data breach Featured

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Airlines warn users after service provider SITA reveals data breach Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay

SITA, the communications and technology vendor for 90% of the world's airlines, has suffered a breach involving data that was stored on SITA Passenger Service System servers, the company says in a public statement.

The statement, issued on 4 March, said after confirming the seriousness of the incident on 24 February, SITA attempted to contact SITA PSS customers and related organisations.

SITA has 2800 customers, which includes most of the world's airlines and airports. It offers services in aircraft data management, cabin connectivity services, digital day of operations, baggage management, border management, communications and data exchange, operations at airports, passenger processing and unified aircraft communications.

At least two airlines have separately issued notices about being affected by the breach. Singapore Airlines said in a notice dated 4 March, that while it was not a customer of the SITA PSS, the breach had affected 580,000 users of its KrisFlyer and PPS frequent flyer schemes.

Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, a grouping that includes 26 carriers. "One of the Star Alliance member airlines is a SITA PSS customer," Singapore Airlines said, without specifying the airline.

"As a result, SITA has access to the restricted set of frequent flyer program data for all 26 Star Alliance member airlines, including Singapore Airlines."

SAS – Scandinavian Airlines issued a statement on 5 March saying that the breach had affected its SAS EuroBonus loyalty program. It is also a member of the Star Alliance.

Two other members of the Star Alliance which are affected are Lufthansa and Air New Zealand, with the former has Europe's largest frequent flyer and rewards program, Miles & More.

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific, South Korean budget airline Jeju Air, Malaysian Airlines, Japan Airlines and Finland's Finnair are other airlines which have been hit by the SITA breach. Apart from Jeju, the other four are members of the OneWorld Alliance.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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