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American Sues Joomla Over Fake Cargo Website

American Airlines is taking the company behind content management system Joomla and a web host to court over their alleged part in hosting a “phishing” website. The airline claims they requested the fake website to be taken down with no response, which resulted in potential damage to their customers.

American Airlines is taking the company behind web platform Joomla to court over allegations the company and a web host did not do enough to take down a fake cargo website. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the company is seeking a jury trial against Open Source Matters and CloudAccess.net for an undetermined amount.

Companies Accused of Not Taking Down Phishing Site Upon Request

In the lawsuit, the carrier accuses an unidentified party of creating a fake American Airlines Cargo website using the airline’s name in the URL. The barren site only included a place to put in a username and password to check cargo shipments, or links to supposedly recover a username or password. The website was not in any way associated with American, and the carrier alleges that the site was used for “phishing” usernames and passwords to commit crimes – including “…gaining unauthorized access to the consumers’ social media accounts, bank accounts, credit history, and other personal accounts that may use similar usernames or password.”

Screenshot of the fraudulent website submitted to the court. Image courtesy: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Once American was made aware of the fake site, their lawyers claim the company submitted complaints to both Joomla and CloudAccess. On three dates in December 2020 and January 2021, American submitted abuse complaints to both requesting the fake website be taken down, but to no avail. As of press time, the site appears to be live, but redirecting to another Joomla website.

The Fort Worth-based carrier is suing both parties on several counts, including trademark counterfeiting and infringement, cyberpiracy and unlawful deceptive acts and practices. In restitution, the carrier is seeking an amount to be determined, including statutory damages, profits gained from the misappropriation of personal information and other costs.

Neither Open Source Matters or CloudAccess.net have responded to the lawsuit. A court date has been set and the case is ongoing.

Lawsuit Latest in Line of Tech Headaches for American

The new lawsuit is the latest issue in a long line of digital problems for American. In February 2021, the carrier was accused of having their computer charge an “African American Fee” to a pair of travelers – and in September 2020, a St. Louis-based flyer plead guilty to abusing a refund glitch in the American website to refund flights.

SamirD August 12, 2021

Hopefully AA is able to stick it to these shady MFs who do these type of things and set a precedent in case law that makes it easier for victims to get some restitution after a profitable abuse by a nefarious individual. Without this result, the entire system of 'rule by law' becomes threatened as people can do whatever they want and get away with it.