Air Canada says mo­bile app breach may af­fect up to 20,000 cus­tomers

The Peterborough Examiner - - Business | Classified - CHRISTO­PHER REYNOLDS

MON­TREAL — Some 20,000 Air Canada cus­tomers woke up Wed­nes­day to learn their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion may have been com­pro­mised af­ter a breach in the air­line’s mo­bile app — prompt­ing a lock­down on all 1.7 mil­lion ac­counts un­til their pass­words could be changed.

The air­line said it de­tected un­usual lo­gin ac­tiv­ity be­tween Aug. 22 and Aug. 24, and it tried to block the hack­ing at­tempt, lock­ing the app ac­counts as an ad­di­tional mea­sure, ac­cord­ing to a no­tice on its web­site.

Mo­bile app users also re­ceived an email alert­ing them as to whether their ac­count had been af­fected.

The app stores ba­sic in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing a user’s name, email and phone num­ber.

Any credit card data is en­crypted and would be pro­tected from a breach, Air Canada said.

But Aero­plan num­bers, pass­port num­bers, birth­dates, na­tion­al­i­ties and coun­tries of res­i­dence could have been ac­cessed if users saved them in their ac­count pro­file, the com­pany said.

“Some data, such as names or emails, may have been vis­i­ble if an unau­tho­rized user was able to gain ac­cess to an ac­count,” spokesper­son Is­abelle Arthur said in an email.

The risk of a third party ob­tain­ing a pass­port in some­one else’s name is low if the user still has their pass­port and sup­port­ing doc­u­ments, ac­cord­ing to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

Users can re­ac­ti­vate their ac­count along stricter pass­word guide­lines by fol­low­ing in­struc­tions emailed to them or prompts when log­ging in.

Some users re­ported prob­lems with the process on so­cial me­dia, likely due to the vol­ume of cus­tomers try­ing to un­lock their ac­count. Air Canada ad­vised any­one look­ing to ac­cess the app to keep try­ing.

In March, the air­line said some cus­tomers who booked hotels through its for­mer travel part­ner Or­b­itz may have had their per­sonal data stolen.

Nearly 2,300 book­ings through Air Canada ho­tel op­tions could have been in­volved in a data breach of hun­dreds of thou­sands of records that Or­b­itz re­ported ear­lier this year, Air Canada said.

The Ex­pe­dia-owned travel web­site op­er­a­tor dis­closed on March 20 that hack­ers may have ac­cessed per­sonal in­for­ma­tion from about 880,000 pay­ment cards in 2016.

AN­DREW VAUGHAN THE CANA­DIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO

Air Canada locked down all 1.7 mil­lion ac­counts con­nected to its mo­bile app af­ter cus­tomers’ per­sonal in­for­ma­tion may have been com­pro­mised.

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