British airline EasyJet on Tuesday said it had suffered a “sophisticated” cyber attack, uncovering names and travel details of about nine million customers amid raised concerns over coronavirus-fuelled Internet hacking.
“Since we became aware of the incident, it has become clear that owing to COVID-19 there is heightened concern about personal data being used for online scams,” EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said in a statement.
The no-frills airline, hit also by an unprecedented collapse in demand as the virus grounds planes worldwide, added that credit card details of 2,208 customers were additionally accessed.
EasyJet did not say when the attack took place.
“As soon as we became aware of the attack, we took immediate steps to respond to and manage the incident and engaged leading forensic experts to investigate the issue.”
EasyJet said it notified Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre and the Information Commissioner’s Office, while it had shut down the area where unauthorised access had been obtained.
“Our investigation found that the email address and travel details of approximately nine million customers were accessed,” the airline said.
“These affected customers will be contacted in the next few days.”
It comes after British mobile phone giant Vodafone last week said it had heightened its own security as it warned of increased cyber attacks by criminals profiting from the pandemic.
Vodafone added that it anticipated “a continued increase in volume and scale of financially-motivated cyber attacks” amid the virus outbreak.