China-linked hackers attack Sabre Corp and American Airlines
08 August 2015
China-linked hackers attacked the computer systems of travel reservations distributor Sabre Corp and American Airlines Group Inc, Bloomberg reported, but the airline said there was no evidence of such a breach.
Bloomberg reported yesterday that the attacks were similar to that on insurer Anthem Inc (See: Hackers strike US health insurance giant Anthem; steal millions of personal data) and the US government's personnel office (Hackers breach data of millions of US government employee , Bloomberg reported.)
"We recently learned of a cyber-security incident," Sabre said in an email to Reuters. "At this time, we are not aware that this incident has compromised sensitive protected information, such as credit card data or personally identifiable information, but our investigation is ongoing."
However, American Airlines spokesman Casey Norton said the carrier had found no evidence of an attack on its systems.
"American has worked with outside cyber-security experts who checked digital signatures, IP addresses and the style of attack, and there's no evidence to suggest a breach similar to that experienced by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management," Norton said in an email to Reuters.
Sabre Corp, whose operations involve booking reservations for hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotels, confirmed that its systems were breached recently.
The latest incidents, which had not been earlier reported, come as the broadest yet on the US travel industry, coming a week after security experts attributed an attack on United Airlines, the world's second-largest carrier, to the same group.
The stolen information would add to would to the massive amount of information already stolen which was believed to include personal and employment details from background checks on millions of government employees and contractors, as also medical histories.
The data could be used by foreign governments to build profiles of US officials and contractors, establishing information that could be used to blackmail them into providing intelligence.
Governments could also track the travels of US officials and workers to detect military or intelligence operations.