PSA - Cathay hacked, over 9 million customer's DOB, passport, phone etc stolen

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  • Oct 27th, 2018 10:50 pm
Mar 13, 2018
1385 posts

PSA - Cathay hacked, over 9 million customer's DOB, passport, phone etc stolen ... index.html

One of Asia's top airlines has discovered a data breach in which the personal information of more than 9 million passengers may have been stolen.

Cathay Pacific (CPCAY) said late Wednesday that a wide range of data — including passengers' names, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses and passport numbers — was exposed in a hack of its information systems earlier this year

Cathay said it first discovered "suspicious activity" on its network in March and "took immediate action to contain the event" and investigate it with the help of a cybersecurity firm. It confirmed in May that personal data had been compromised and has since been analyzing the data to identify which passengers were affected.
Cathay shares slumped more than 5% in morning trading in Hong Kong on Thursday following the disclosure of the breach.
The company has notified police in Hong Kong. It has also set up a dedicated website,, and call center for customers who believe they may be affected.
The airline said the combination of data accessed by the hackers varied from passenger to passenger. It included roughly 860,000 passport numbers and 245,000 Hong Kong identity card numbers.
Cathay was ranked as the sixth best airline in the world this year by Skytrax, a London-based firm that provides advisory services for carriers and airports.

7 replies
Sr. Member
Jan 30, 2013
818 posts
I thought this is bad enough ... s-dark-web
but CX takes the cake

"The credit card details of 380,000 British Airways customers could already be on sale on the internet after the airline suffered a “malicious” data breach, experts have warned."
oneworld problem?
another late disclosure of problem
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
35620 posts
Added to a very long list of hacked companies and the list gets longer every day.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 13, 2010
6881 posts
unfortunately its impossible to fly these days without giving out all that sensitive info.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 24, 2007
1384 posts
You would think that the company would store this data internally "encrypted" or is that just too simple a request?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 14, 2009
1280 posts
apnayloags wrote: unfortunately its impossible to fly these days without giving out all that sensitive info.
Yes, it is impossible to fly [public planes] without giving up personal info.

But I would not use word "unfortunately" here. It is what it is --
it is a price we [all] have to pay for faster and cheaper service.

One day a bulb died in a kitchen. In 5 minutes I researched and 1-click ordered
3-pack new LEDs from Next day it was here (amazon-prime one-day delivery).
Amazon knows my email, card, address, of course all my purchasing habits.
They are cheaper and faster than I reluctantly lift my base and go to store near-by...

Back to flying, I do want airline and airport security know identity
of everybody on board. I do want everybody be checked thoroughly before.
Will you fly knowing there was no checks? or, do do want spend extra
2 hours while security agents [for the first time] start verifying identities
and background of every passenger?

Yes, Cathay is bad here, but it can happen with any collection of private/sensitive data.
Videotron, CRA, kindergarten, hospital, list of voters, etc...
...and not only "can" but "will"!

So, we are asking for our own "fortune".

Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 14, 2009
1280 posts
WetCoastGuy wrote: You would think that the company would store this data internally "encrypted" or is that just too simple a request?
Security is much wider than encryption. CC number must be transmitted to payment processor one way or another.
So somewhere data can be stored encrypted, but somewhere number has to be decrypted and transmitted.
Practically everywhere database administrators, developers, customer service, fraud analysts, etc
can access real numbers. Of course, access supposed to be minimal, but main point:
at some point CC number is decrypted, program does provide access to decrypted values
and there are several people who have such access.

So, with data been encrypted in database, hackers can:
* get description key and access database
* get access to application API or screen or transport channel where decrypted CC number is available
* get access to workstation of a person with wide access
* bribe data analyst

Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 25, 2003
9471 posts
Damn I was one of them. Got an email just now.
Can't see this email? Click here

Official emails relating to this data security event will be sent from an address with the format

With regard to this data security event, we will never request your personal or financial information, and we will never ask for your password.

If you are concerned about an email, we recommend that you don’t click on any links, open any attachments or reply to it.
Dear 1226

We are contacting you to make you aware of a data security event that involves some of your personal data. We are very sorry for any concern that this event may cause you, and this notice will provide you with information about what happened and how we can assist you.

What happened?

As part of our ongoing IT security processes, we discovered unauthorised access to some of our passenger data.

We initially discovered suspicious activity on our network in March this year. Upon discovery, we took immediate action to contain the event, to commence a thorough investigation with the assistance of a leading cybersecurity firm, and to further strengthen our IT security measures. Unauthorised access to certain personal data was confirmed in early May. Since that time, analysis of the data has continued in order to identify affected individuals and to determine whether the data at issue could be reconstructed.

We have no evidence that any personal data has been misused. We recommend that you follow the steps outlined in this notice to help protect yourself against potential risks.

What information was involved?

These specific types of personal data about you were accessed:

Your travel or loyalty profile was not accessed in full, and your password was not compromised.

What are we doing to help?

You can find more information at our dedicated website,

Where available in your country, we are offering ID monitoring services to affected passengers. This will be provided by Experian, a global data and information service provider. This service (IdentityWorks Global Internet Surveillance) monitors if your personal data may be available on public websites, chat rooms, blogs, and non-public places on the internet where data can be compromised such as dark web sites.

This is an optional service, and how much information to include in the identity monitoring is completely at your discretion.

The information you provide to Experian will only be used by Experian for the sole purposes of identity monitoring. It will not be published to any other entity.

Please visit the following website: and click the Get Started button to activate this 12 month complimentary service. You can then enter your personalized activation code: to start your IdentityWorks Global Internet Surveillance.

We have notified, or are notifying, the relevant authorities and the Hong Kong Police.

What should I do?

Although no-one’s travel or loyalty profile was accessed in full and no passwords were compromised, as best practice, we recommend that you consider:

changing your passwords regularly;
checking for any suspicious activity; and
being vigilant against phishing or other attempted scams.

To date, there is no evidence of misuse. However, it is possible that the personal data could be misused for unauthorised purposes such as fraud or identity theft.

As mentioned above and where available in your country, we are offering ID monitoring services to affected passengers. Please visit the following website : and click the Get Started button to activate this 12 month complimentary service using your personalized activation code above.

For more information

If you have any further questions about the event, you can contact us by:
visiting our dedicated website at;
call our dedicated call centre (toll free numbers available at; or
emailing us at
We want to reassure you that there is no impact on flight safety as the IT systems affected are totally separate from our flight operations systems, and that we continue to take measures to enhance our IT security. Your safety and security remains our top priority.

Yours sincerely,

Rupert Hogg
Chief Executive Officer
Cathay Pacific Airways Limited

For your information:

Asia Miles is owned by, and provided to members by Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, and is managed and operated by Asia Miles Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, as an agent of Cathay Pacific Airways Limited.

Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways Limited and Cathay Pacific Airways Limited manages and provides IT support services to Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited.

The ID Monitoring Services are available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, United Kingdom and United States.

The Activation Code for the ID Monitoring Services will expire on 30 April 2019.

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