How to Avoid Facing the $229M Fine British Airways Faces Due to a Hack

The Information Commissioner’s Office or ICO in the UK has fined British Airways $229 million!

The ICO said the incident took place after users of British Airways’ website were diverted to a fraudulent site. Through this false site, details of about 500,000 customers were harvested by the attackers, the ICO said.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: “People’s personal data is just that – personal. When an organization fails to protect it from loss, damage or theft, it is more than an inconvenience.

“That’s why the law is clear – when you are entrusted with personal data, you must look after it. Those that don’t will face scrutiny from my office to check they have taken appropriate steps to protect fundamental privacy rights.”

The incident was first disclosed on 6 September 2018 and BA had initially said approximately 380,000 transactions were affected, but the stolen data did not include travel or passport details.

According to RiskIQ:

Magecart set up custom, targeted infrastructure to blend in with the British Airways website specifically and avoid detection for as long as possible. While we can never know how much reach the attackers had on the British Airways servers, the fact that they were able to modify a resource for the site tells us the access was substantial.

At the time of the hack, BA’s payment page loaded content from seven external domains. Marcus Greenwood, chief exec of cloud-based automation firm UBIO, argued these various analytic, customer service and testing tools ought to be kept well away from payment pages.



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