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Cathay Pacific Airline Inquest: Data Breach of Around 9.4 Million Travelers

  • Salman Ahmed
  • 6th Nov, 2018

A passenger walks to the First Class counter of Cathay Pacific Airways at Hong Kong Airport in Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific has faced condemnation for lingering the revelation of a breach in travelers’ data

Today, privacy commissioner of Hong Kong starts a compliance process of the investigation against Cathay Pacific Airline regarding the case of data of around 9.4 million travelers based on violating the privacy regulation.

The Airline company has faced great condemnation against the delay in revealing the information of data breach, which had been accessed without any verification and permission followed by the anonymous activity in March.

Privacy Commissioner of Hong Kong “Stephen Wong” said in a statement:

“There are reasonable grounds to believe there may be a contravention of a requirement under the law. The compliance investigation is going to examine in detail, amongst others, the security measures taken by Cathay Pacific to safeguard its customers’ data and the airline’s data retention policy and practice,”

According to Reuters, Cathay Pacific Airline subsidiary “Hong Kong Dragon Airlines” will also be a part of the investigation, because it has been noticed that some of its passengers were also affected by this breach.

Further in an official email to Reuters by Cathay Pacific representative stated that they are deeply analyzing this data breach case and ready to cooperate with the authorities completely.

The privacy experts further create a challenging situation for Airline company by revealing that they had recorded around 89 complaints regarding online data leak.

What Kind of Data is Access by the Airline Company?

According to the Cathay Pacific officials, overall 860,000 passport numbers and about 245,000 Hong Kong national identity card numbers were accessed. It has reported that hackers access around 27 credit cards numbers and 403 expired credit cards with CVV (Card Verification Value).

Who to Blame for Data Breach?

However, this is still ambiguous that who is the real culprit behind this data breach or what kind of information might be used. However, on the other side, Cathay Pacific official claim that there is no evidence found regarding misuse of data.

Based on the Hong Kong’s Privacy regulations, the official authorities have the right to call victims and witnesses, hold public hearings and enter premises to get complete evidence whether Cathay Pacific violated any privacy regulation or not.

Official Authorities Reaction Regarding Data Breach Policy

After what happened, the peer pressure is coming from the official authorities as well as political parties to make changes in privacy law for avoiding this kind of scenarios.

Moreover, after getting in such data breach case, Cathay Pacific Airline share went down to its lowest since 2009.

Cathay Pacific is not the first airline company who face this kind of data breach scenario. This is the second biggest data breach incident after British Airways.

For more updates, keep visiting our website. In case if you are willing to add some valuable information, feel free to contact us by shouting your comment below.

Salman Ahmed's Biography
Salman Ahmed Siddiqui is a passionate writer who loves to write about online privacy, crypto economy and trending technological developments. He loves to provide effective tips and guideline related to rising cyber challenges. When he is not writing, Salman watches Manchester United play and demonstrates his love for football with his mad FIFA skills.

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