British airline EasyJet announced on Tuesday that it had been targeted by a cyberattack ” highly sophisticated ” which gave hackers access to the personal data of around 9 million customers. Hackers have obtained email addresses and travel details, and in a small number of cases, 2,208 people, passenger credit card data, the company said in a press release, already very weakened by the coronavirus pandemic. EasyJet specifies that all affected customers will be contacted in the coming days and by May 26 at the latest.
However, the company has already contacted those whose credit card data has been compromised. EasyJet apologizes to those affected and explains that there is no indication that the data has been misused. This is a cyberattack from a source “Highly sophisticated”, according to the company that managed to curb unauthorized access to its computer system.
An eviction of the management team?
The group immediately alerted the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), a UK cybersecurity organization, as well as the UK data protection regulator (ICO). ” Since we became aware of the incident, we understood that due to Covid-19 there are strong fears about the use of personal data for online scams ”, said Johan Lundgren, Group Managing Director. This is the reason why EasyJet asks the customers concerned ” to be very vigilant, especially if they receive unsolicited requests ”, he adds.
This incident falls particularly badly for the company, which like the entire airline industry, is hit hard by the stoppage of flights due to the coronavirus pandemic. To top it off, this cyberattack is unveiled before a general meeting of shareholders on Friday which is due to vote on the ousting of the management team. These resolutions are carried by the founder and largest shareholder of EasyJet, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who condemns the company’s decision to keep pending orders for more than 100 planes with Airbus in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.