Security Experts:

San Francisco International Airport Discloses Data Breach

Hackers managed to breach two websites pertaining to the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in March 2020, the airport has revealed.

The incident involved SFOConnect.com and SFOConstruction.com, two low-traffic websites designed to keep visitors informed on a variety of SFO-related topics, such as the COVID-19 crisis, alternate AirTrain routing, airfield operations, airport construction contracts, and the like.

In March 2020, the websites were targeted by cyber-criminals who injected malicious code into them, aiming to steal the login credentials of visiting individuals.

“Users possibly impacted by this attack include those accessing these websites from outside the airport network through Internet Explorer on a Windows-based personal device or a device not maintained by SFO,” the airport announced in a breach notice (PDF).

The hackers, SFO says, appear to have targeted the usernames and passwords that people use “to log on to those personal devices.” Basically, they were after the victims’ Windows login credentials.

Both of the affected websites were taken offline and the malicious code has been removed, the airport says. Moreover, all SFO-related email and network passwords were reset on March 23.

All those who visited either of the compromised websites outside of SFO’s managed networks via Internet Explorer on a Windows device are advised to change the passwords used to log in to that device.

They should also update the information on all accounts that might be using the same username and password combination.

“This is a clear example of a Magecart-style attack. This data was stolen directly from the users’ browsers even before it reached SFO systems. Since this happened on the users’ devices, the website administrators would have had no visibility into it. This is what makes Magecart attacks so prevalent and hard to detect,” Ameet Naik, security evangelist at PerimeterX, said in an emailed comment.

“Attackers know that people tend to reuse passwords across different websites and take credentials collected from other sites, then try to use them to log into more valuable websites, such as banks. It is vital to ensure that people are taught about the dangers of reusing passwords across multiple websites and that people enable multi-factor authentication, such as a text message with a code or a code generated from an app on a smart phone, wherever possible,” James McQuiggan, security awareness advocate at KnowBe4, commented.

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