Updated: January 31, 2020 11:50:02 am
After a TechCrunch report claimed details of over 1.2 million SpiceJet passengers had been accessed by a US security researcher, the airline said “safety and security of our fliers’ data is sacrosanct”. The TechCrunch report had claimed an encrypted backup file that the researcher gained access to via brute-forcing into SpiceJet’s systems, thanks to “easily guessable password” contained private information of millions of passengers including their name, phone number, email address as well as data of birth.
The airline did not confirm, or deny, the breach, but a SpiceJet spokesperson told Indianexpress.com in a statement, “At SpiceJet, safety and security of our fliers’ data is sacrosanct. Our systems are fully capable and always up to date to secure the fliers’ data which is a continuous process. We undertake every possible measure to safeguard and protect this data and ensure that the privacy is maintained at the highest and safest level.”
The TechCrunch report initially claimed the airline had confirmed the breach, but the copy was later updated.
The report added that more data with flight information for over a month with full details of each commuter was accessible as well. The data also included those of some state officials, who must have been passengers of the airlines. It is unclear if the data has been misused.
Apart from SpiceJet, the CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) was alerted by the researcher as well. “The agency confirmed the security lapse, and alerted SpiceJet, which has since taken the necessary measures to protect the database,” as per the report.
SpiceJet is among the largest airlines in India with domestic passenger market share of 16.5 per cent in December 2019, according to a recent Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data. This is only second to IndiGo with 47.5 per cent share. Earlier this month, the budget carrier announced new international flight connecting Ahmedabad with Jeddah as well as several domestic flights.
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