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personal finance

EasyJet hacking attack: are you affected and what should you do?


EasyJet revealed on Tuesday it had suffered a “highly sophisticated” cyber-attack. It comes at a time of heightened concern about a surge in online and phone scams linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

What happened?

The airline said the personal information of 9 million customers – comprising email addresses and travel details (though not passport information) – was accessed.

Of those affected, 2,208 had credit card details stolen, easyJet said in a statement to the stock market. It first became aware of the attack in January.

How do I know if I’m affected?

For those who have had their credit card details accessed, action has already been taken to contact all of these people, and they have been offered support, said the company.

On the specific recommendation of the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the remainder will all be contacted by 26May. If you are not contacted, that means your information has not been accessed, easyJet said.

The airline added there was no evidence that any of the personal information had been misused. However, it is still early days in terms of this incident.

Who was behind this?

There’s no confirmation on that yet – the airline said only that the attack came from “a highly sophisticated source”, and that it has now “closed off this unauthorised access”. It added that as soon as it became aware of the incident, it took immediate steps to respond and engaged forensic experts to investigate.

I’m one of those affected – or I’m worried I might be. What should I do?

The ICO recommended easyJet advise its customers about protective steps they can take to minimise any risk of potential phishing. In its most typical form, phishing is where people receive emails purporting to be from a company or organisation that attempt to make contact and/or seek money.

Those who might be affected should be very wary of anyone who calls up or emails claiming to be from easyJet, or anyone else. The airline said: “We are advising customers to continue to be alert as they would normally be, especially should they receive any unsolicited communications. We also advise customers to be cautious of any communications purporting to come from easyJet or easyJet Holidays.”

What else can I do?

Keep a close eye on credit card bills for anything untoward. You should change any passwords on affected accounts – and also any others if you used the same password elsewhere.

If you get a call from your bank or card company saying it has noticed fraudulent transactions, be on your guard. End the call and then phone the bank or card company back to check it was legitimate. Also, don’t hand over any passcodes or passwords to anyone, whoever they claim to be.

Further down the line, and if necessary, a credit reference check will show up if anyone has applied for credit in your name.

Customers can also find further advice at www.actionfraud.police.co.uk



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