Cathay Pacific Says Data Breach Exposed Personal Information of 9.4 Million Passengers

A Cathay Pacific plane

Cathay Pacific also said that 403 expired credit card numbers were accessed and 27 credit card numbers with no CVV were compromised.

He said there was "no evidence that any personal data has been misused" and that the airline was in the process of contacting affected passengers.

Cathay Pacific said it discovered the data breach during a review of its IT procedures.

The company said that it had first noticed suspicious activity on its network in March, and that it took immediate action to contain the breach.

The Hong Kong-based airline has set up helplines for anxious passengers.

Cathay Pacific has set up a website for customers who believe they have been affected by the data breach.

"We are very sorry for any concern this data security event may cause our passengers", he said.

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Cathay Pacific flies from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and Cairns.

Ryan Wilk, vice president at NuData Security said "Data in the wrong hands - especially payment card information - can have a huge impact on customers, far beyond the unauthorised use of their cards". None of Cathay Pacific customer data was accessed in full and passwords are still secure.

"Notified customers should change passwords as a precaution and alert their employer's IT security teams to help look out for attacks misusing their personal information".

In April, the holding company of Yahoo was fined $35 million by U.S. regulators because it had not informed them until this year that hackers had stolen "crown jewel" data including email addresses and passwords.

For the majority of people affected, the hackers accessed a combination of passenger name, and either phone number or email, Hogg said.

The british airline revealed last month to have suffered an online theft of personal and financial data of clients between the end of August and beginning of September.

The data breach at Cathay - a partner of British Airways in the Oneworld airline alliance - adds to the carrier's woes, with Chief Executive Officer Rupert Hogg trying to turn it around after two straight annual losses.

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