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Cathay stocks dive after hacker penetrates security

October 26, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Cathay Pacific Airways stocks were reported yesterday to have plunged to their lowest level in almost a decade after the airline revealed a hacker had gained access to the personal information and details of millions of customers.

The following personal data was accessed: passenger name; nationality; date of birth; phone number; email; address; passport number; identity card number; frequent flyer program membership number; customer service remarks; and historical travel information.

The information affected 9.4 million passengers, ABC News reported last night, although the airline says it has no evidence the leaked information has been misused.

In an issued statement, Cathay Pacific said that as part of its ongoing IT security processes, it had “discovered unauthorised access to some of its information system containing passenger data of up to 9.4 million people.

“Upon discovery, the company took immediate action to investigate and contain the event.  The company has no evidence that any personal information has been misused. The IT systems affected are totally separate from its flight operations systems, and there is no impact on flight safety.”

Cathay Pacific chief executive Rupert Hogg said, “We are very sorry for any concern this data security event may cause our passengers. We acted immediately to contain the event, commence a thorough investigation with the assistance of a leading cybersecurity firm, and to further strengthen our IT security measures.

“We are in the process of contacting affected passengers, using multiple communications channels, and providing them with information on steps they can take to protect themselves.  We have no evidence that any personal data has been misused. No-one’s travel or loyalty profile was accessed in full, and no passwords were compromised.”

As well as the personal data listed above, the airline said 403 expired credit card numbers were accessed.

“Twenty-seven credit card numbers with no CVV were accessed. The combination of data accessed varies for each affected passenger.

“Cathay Pacific has notified the Hong Kong Police and is notifying the relevant authorities .

“Anyone who believes they may be affected can contact Cathay Pacific in the following ways:

  • Via the dedicated website – – which provides information about the event and what to do next
  • Via Cathay Pacific’s dedicated call centre available after 12:30/25OCT (GMT+8) (toll free numbers are available on
  • Email Cathay Pacific at

Hogg added: “We want to reassure our passengers that we took and continue to take measures to enhance our IT security.  The safety and security of our passengers remains our top priority.”

Hong Kong’s privacy commissioner, Stephen Kai-yi Wong, expressed “serious concern” over the lapse. He pledged that his office would begin a compliance check of the airline, the ABC reported.

Written by Peter Needham

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