A recent report shows that a group of hackers managed to create a breach into United Airlines’ computer systems, and leak customer flight records between May and June, 2015.
Officials believe that the hackers are the same people who hacked their way into the Office of Personnel Management’s servers and stole 21.5 million Social Security numbers and other sensitive data.
Plus, the group may have also been the author of the major data breach at Anthem Blue Cross, which resulted in tens of thousands of medical records being compromised.
Investigators believe that the hacking group may have ties with the Chinese government. U.S. officials believe that the group stole social security numbers and medical records to build up a database with all information on intelligence officers infiltrated in their country.
Yet, if the U.S. government cannot protect its spies from other governments’ intrusion, what chances do common folks have? And if spies cannot stay out of the harm’s way, a regular Internet user has even slimmer chances.
United Airlines said that the recent report doesn’t stand on solid ground. Plus, the airliner claims that passenger records were not compromised. Yet, it declined to tell whether there was or not a data breach.
Cyber security experts say that the latest hack clearly shows that all businesses have sensitive information that they wish to keep away from intruders. But that makes them even more alluring to hackers.
Hackers’ business model evolved from stealing simple info like the data of your credit card for quick cash to monetizing social security numbers stolen from the government, experts noted.
But why would anyone steal flight records from an airliner when they cannot make any cash off of it? Security expert believe that there is more at stake and companies should prepare for more similar breaches.
“If what they stole here were the flight plans, it’s another example of different attackers can make use of different things,”
Udi Mokady, security firm CyberArk’s CEO, said.
Same thing happened to Sony Pictures nine months ago. Hackers stole valuable data on the company business partners and employees and posted them on the Internet for everyone to see. It looked like somebody wanted to take revenge on Sony for some obscure reason rather than monetize the attack.
Cyber security specialists recommend that companies use strong encryption technologies and limit the access to precious data only to a select few thus minimizing the risk of hackers to infiltrate.
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