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BA Investigating Theft of Personal and Financial Data

BA Investigating Theft of Personal and Financial Data

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Old Nov 24, 18, 3:49 am   -   Wikipost
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On Thursday 6 September 2018 at about 1830 London time (UTC+1), BA announced that there had been a data breach involving customers using the BA website and the BA mobile app.

Updates from BA are being posted to this ba.com page: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb...st-information
A further update dated 25 October 2018 can be found in this post 1377. The SPG Law class action thread can be found here.

As at 1400 London time on Tuesday 11 September 2018, the body of that page read:-
Customer data theft

We are investigating, as a matter of urgency, the theft of customer data between 22:58 BST August 21 2018 until 21:45 BST September 5 2018 from our website, ba.com, and our mobile app.

The stolen data included personal and financial details of customers making bookings and changes on ba.com and the airline’s app. The data did not include travel or passport details.

The theft has been reported to the authorities and our website is now working normally.

What to do if you have been affected

If you believe you may have been affected because you made a booking or paid to change to your booking with a credit or debit card on ba.com or the mobile app between 22:58 BST August 21 2018 until 21:45 BST September 5 2018, we recommend you contact your bank or credit card provider and follow their advice.

We understand that this incident will cause concern and inconvenience. We are contacting all affected customers to say sorry, and we will continue to update them in the coming days.

Phishing

Customers should also be aware that fraudsters may be claiming to be British Airways and attempt to gather personal information by deception (known as 'phishing').

We will not be contacting any customers asking for payment card details and any such requests should be reported to the police and relevant authorities.

See below for more information on how to validate that the email you have received from us is genuine.
That is followed by a series of FAQs. These are reproduced at the end of this wikipost.

If you are experiencing difficulties in changing your BA password or want further information about doing so, some information is in this thread: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/brit...rd-ba-com.html (which also has a wikipost).

Reports from FTers suggest that credit card companies and banks are taking differing approaches to this incident:-
  • American Express - A recorded message says they are aware of the breach, there is no need to take any further action and if you suffer any financial loss you will be fully compensated; an email says: "There is no action you need to take – we will contact you immediately if there's any unusual activity with your Account. In the meantime you can continue to use your Card as normal" (see post 293, post 401, post 470 and post 491).
  • Barclaycard - They just assured me I was fully protected, and I didn't need to do anything yet (see post 253); however at 18.20 on 7/9/18 the customer service helpline automated message says that affected cards are being reissued (see post 511).
  • Barclays Bank - They have contacted people they believe to have been affected, and have blocked their cards from online use (website/app), but the cards remain valid for physical (chip & PIN) transactions in shops, ATMs etc. New cards being dispatched "within a week" (see post 918).
  • Capital One - online transactions being blocked, new cards being issued (see post 493).
  • Chase (British Airways visa) - no contact from Chase about data breach and card still working
  • HSBC Premier Mastercard - Offering customers the option to freeze the card or replace it with a new card (see post 274).
  • Lloyds - Said "wait and see", but did give the option to cancel the card and have it reissued (see post 403).
  • Lloyds Mastercard - Based on the information they have, fraudulent use of my card is unlikely, just keep an eye on online banking and report anything suspicious (see post 370).
  • Monzo - Automatically replacing all cards (see post 371).
  • Natwest- Of the opinion that as there had been no fraudulent activity on my account to just keep an eye on things, and to call immediately if any suspicious transactions appear and fraud team would refund (post 315).
  • Sainsburys Bank - seem to be replacing all cards proactively (see post 968)
  • Starling - Automatically replacing cards (see post 460).
  • Tesco Bank - Pro-actively sending a new card as per details in this post (post 484)
  • TSB - Call the Telephone Banking Team on 03459 758758 to discuss further (see post 437).
  • Vanquis - online transactions being blocked, new cards being issued (see post 493).
FAQs (as at 1400 London time on Tuesday 11 September 2018):-
Have I been affected?

How do I know if I have been affected?

Customers who made bookings or changes to their bookings on ba.com or our mobile app between 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 and 21:45 BST September 5, 2018 may have been affected.

We advise any customers who believe they may have been affected to contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their advice.

We are experiencing high call volumes into our contact centres so please continue to check this page for the latest information.

Contact us

What data has been lost?

The personal and financial details of customers making bookings on ba.com and our mobile app between 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 and 21:45 BST September 5, 2018 was compromised. No passport or travel details were stolen. Only customers who made bookings between these dates are affected.

Names, billing address, email address and all bank card details were all at risk.

Did this affect just new bookings or any payment transaction made within the impacted time period?

All payment transactions made on ba.com or our mobile app from 22:58 BST August 21 2018 to 21:45 September 5 2018 inclusive were affected. Nothing before or after these dates and times was impacted. Payments made through our call centres, travel agents or online travel sites are not affected.

Are my saved payment card details safe if they were used to make a booking in that period?

If you made a payment using a saved card on ba.com or the mobile app from 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 to 21:45 September 5, 2018 inclusive, you may have been impacted.

No Executive Club accounts were compromised in the data theft. There is no impact to Avios or details stored with the British Airways Executive Club.

Has saved credit card data been stolen, even if a booking hasn’t been made in that period?

No, saved payment card data has not been compromised. However, if you made a payment using a saved card on ba.com or the mobile app from 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 to 21:45 September 5, 2018 inclusive, you may have been impacted.

How were phone numbers not affected?

Phone number information is collected in a separate part of the booking process and is not used as part of the payment transaction therefore this has not been impacted.

I used PayPal to pay for my ba.com transaction. Is this impacted?

If you booked through PayPal, your PayPal account will not have been compromised. There does remain the risk that some of your personal information such as your name and address may have been accessed. No passport details or travel details were compromised.

Is Apple Pay affected?

If you used Apple Pay via the mobile app then your data will not have been compromised.

I had a failed payment attempt during the affected time period – am I affected?

If you clicked the pay button on ba.com then the transaction would have taken place even if the outcome was unsuccessful and the data would have been compromised.

We advise any concerned customers to contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their advice.

Will I be affected if I made a free change to my booking but my payment card details were saved in the reservation?

If you made a free change to your booking via ba.com and did not use your payment card as part of that transaction, then you will not have been impacted.

Are travel agent bookings affected?

Only bookings or changes to bookings made directly with ba.com or the mobile app between 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 and 21:45 BST September 5, 2018 were affected.

If a change was made to a travel agent booking on ba.com and payment made for an additional product, such as seat reservations or excess baggage, then these would be affected.

Does this affect Executive Club accounts in any way? i.e. missing Avios/ Tier Points

No accounts were compromised in the data theft. There is no impact to Avios or details stored with the British Airways Executive Club.

I received an email about the data theft, however I only cancelled a booking during this time – will I be affected?

If you cancelled and refunded your booking between 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 and 21:45 September 5, 2018, you will not have been impacted.

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What should I do if I think I am affected?

Should I call my bank or cancel my credit cards?

We recommend that all customers who made bookings or changes to their bookings with ba.com or the mobile app, between 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 and 21:45 BST September 5, 2018, contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their advice.

I think my card was compromised when I made a booking on ba.com outside of the time period – what should I do?

The data theft relates to customer bookings made or changed between 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 and 21:45 September 5, 2018 only.

We advise any concerned customers to contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their advice.

How would I know if I have been a victim of identity theft?

There are a number of signs to look out for that may indicate that you might have been a victim of identity theft:-
  • Post from your bank or utility provider doesn’t arrive.
  • You apply for state benefits, but are told you are already claiming.
  • Refused financial services, credit cards or a loan, despite having a good credit rating.
  • Receiving letters in your name from solicitors or debt collectors for debts that aren’t yours.
If you think that you might be a victim of identity theft, then you should:
  • Request a copy of your credit file to check for any suspicious credit applications.
  • Report the theft of personal information and suspicious credit applications to the police and ask for a crime reference number.
  • If fraud has been committed, contact Action Fraud.
I have had some suspicious emails or phone calls – are they legitimate?

If you are concerned about an email, we recommend that you don't click on any links, open any documents or reply to it until you have looked into it further.

Official emails relating to this theft will be sent from: [email protected] You should hover over the sent email address to confirm this is where the email has been sent from before clicking on it.

British Airways will never proactively contact you to request your personal or confidential information. If you ever receive an email or call, claiming to be from us, requesting this information, please report it to us straight away.

We've put the details of the scams we're aware of on our ba.com website security page. There's also security essentials information to help you, along with details of how to report any new scams to us (or other emails/calls that have concerned you).

Will I be reimbursed?

We take the protection of our customers’ data seriously and are very sorry for the concern that this criminal activity has caused.

We will continue to keep our customers updated with the very latest information.

No customer will be out of pocket as a direct result of the criminal theft of data from ba.com and the airline’s mobile app. Any customer who made a booking between 22:58 BST August 21 2018 and 21:45 BST September 5 2018 will be reimbursed for any fraudulent activity on their accounts as a direct result of the data theft and we shall advise the process for this in due course.

We will be offering a 12-month credit rating monitoring service to any affected customer who is concerned about an impact to their credit rating, provided by specialists in the field and will share details of this in the near future.

Will BA pay for costs associated with getting new cards, e.g. postage costs?

No customer will be out of pocket as a direct result of the criminal theft of data from ba.com and the airline’s mobile app. We are working through the process and will update our customers as soon as we can.

How do I reset my ba.com password?

ba.com and Executive Club accounts have not been compromised and your login details are safe.

However, if you’d like to change your password, first ensure you are logged out of ba.com and click the Forgotten Pin/Password link on the top right-hand corner of the homepage. We recommend you choose a unique password that you do not use for any other online account.

We are aware of some customers experiencing intermittent issues when attempting to reset their passwords. We are working on resolving this as quickly as possible.

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How does this affect my bookings?

What shall I do if I am due to travel today?

The incident has been resolved and all systems are working normally so customers due to travel can check-in online as normal.

Will I still be able to check in?

Yes, all customers booked on our flights will be able to check in as normal.

Will this affect any future bookings?

The incident has been resolved and ba.com is working normally so future bookings will not be affected.

Will bookings made over the period of this incident remain confirmed?

Yes, all bookings made remain valid for travel.

If I cancelled the card my booking was made with what do I need to bring to the airport?

The payment card that was used to pay for the booking should be brought to the airport if you are the owner of the card and are travelling. However, if the payment card has expired since the booking was made and you have a new card, or you don't have the original card used for payment, please print out a copy of your flight itinerary from Manage my Booking.

I have now cancelled my credit card, but I had used that card to make a future flight booking, so how will I be able to access that booking?
You do not need to enter your payment card details when retrieving an existing booking via Manage My Booking on ba.com, so access to future booking is not restricted due to the cancellation of the payment card.
As of Wednesday 12th September, affected customers are being emailed with the following additional information

We deeply apologise for any worry and inconvenience this criminal activity has caused. For your reassurance, we’re offering you 12 months of free credit and identity monitoring services, provided by Experian, one of the UK’s leading Credit Reference agencies.

Your free ProtectMyID membership
To help you to monitor your personal information for certain signs of potential identity theft, we are offering you a free 12 month membership to Experian ProtectMyID. This service helps detect possible misuse of your personal data and provides you with identity monitoring support, focussed on the identification and resolution of identity theft.

Activating your free ProtectMyID membership
1. Ensure that you sign up for the service by 12 December 2018. Your code expires after this date.
2. Visit the ProtectMyID website to get started.
3. Click on ‘Join ProtectMyID’ (top right-hand side).
4. Enter your details along with the following activation code: XXXXXXXX
This code is unique to you and only available in this email – please keep this email for reference.

Once your membership is activated, you’ll have access to the following features:
1. Unlimited access to your Experian Credit Report.
2. Credit Alerting – an email or text to let you know when certain changes happen on your Experian Credit Report, such as the addition of a new credit search.
3. Access to an Identity Theft Resolution service if you do become a victim of fraud, where you’ll have a dedicated case worker who will support you in resolving fraud that has occurred.
4. If you are at higher risk of fraud, Experian can add protective Cifas registration to your credit report which can help prevent credit being taken in your name. The Cifas Protective Registration service places a flag alongside your name and personal details in the National Fraud Database. Companies and organisations who are signed up as members of the database will see you’re at risk and take extra steps to protect you.

If you have any questions regarding this service, then please contact Experian’s Customer Support Centre on 03444 818182*. They are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and Saturday, 9am to 5pm.
Note that the email from BA gives you a personal "Activation Code". However, when you get to the signup forms for ProtectMyID, you put the code into the second page of the sign up form in the "Promotional Code" field.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 2:27 am
  #781  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by Marilenad27 View Post
This rings big alarm bells. Did the hackers also get into people’s BAEC accounts? And passport details too? The flight bought was clearly used and for the points and avios to be credited, they must have used her details. Did they even travel using her passport details?
Welcome to Flyertalk and welcome to the BA forum Marilenad27, it's good to see you here, less good to read of what has happened to your sister. Welcome on board.

Because she didn't make a transaction during the periods in question then on first sight it would appear to be a different problem. They wouldn't have need to have travelled on the same passport number (which wasn't part of this incident anyway) since all BA do is check that the person has a passport or ID card, and frankly if it is a EEA document it will get the briefest of glances. So someone could book under your sister's name, use some other ID and particularly if HBO they may well get away with showing any old bus pass (I exaggerate but not by much). I would drop an email to the DPO email address given upthread so that BA is aware of this, and/or ring up BA, however I suspect the Contact Centres will be very busy.

On the face of it, it looks a different problem - before this incident fraudsters have been known to book travel like this, they target people with similar names by trawling the list of identities / credit cards available on the Dark Net. However it is worth keeping an eye on this thread to see if there is a wider pattern of similar problems emerging here.

Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
I find this hard to believe. They would have had to travel using her passport. .
When you have travelled from ARN to LHR, has anyone ever checked every digit on your passport against the number on MMB? Or the precise spelling of your middle name? If so, it certainly hasn't happened to me, and since I've got 3 passports and 1 Carte d'Identité I don't always remember which passport / ID I have used on the booking.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 2:30 am
  #782  
 
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Originally Posted by Marilenad27 View Post
Unfortunately it’s all true. Her Amex has been cancelled and a new card is on its way. She has called BA but so far she has only been promised a call back with further explanations, although this has not happened yet.

They can see themselves from her BAEC account that she was in the US, having travelled there with BA, whilst this other flight to Zurich took place.

it just cannot be a coincidence. Yet she did not book anything during the data theft window.
There's a gate passport/ID check leaving London. Different details should have been spotted if they traveled with their own passport/ID. So does this mean they also used a forged document, just for a one way to Zurich?

Edit: as c-w-s mentions, it can be a bit lax, but still a big risk.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 2:35 am
  #783  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Thank you all for your thoughts. I do feel slightly better about the fact that my passport details have not been compromised.

The flight I myself booked during this period however, makes me slightly worried. Notwithstanding that it’s a flight to Moscow, I do hope it doesn’t get tampered with and I am unable to fly in a couple of weeks time.

On another note, I had to book flights to Asia last night but ended up booking Cathay instead of BA as I am now a bit uneasy about the BA booking system.

Last but not least, I have sent BA an email requesting explanations and reassurances (as a GGL member) and I have not heard a thing.

i expect they are very busy but their customer service remains as appalling as ever.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 3:06 am
  #784  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Welcome to Flyertalk and welcome to the BA forum Marilenad27, it's good to see you here, less good to read of what has happened to your sister. Welcome on board.

Because she didn't make a transaction during the periods in question then on first sight it would appear to be a different problem. They wouldn't have need to have travelled on the same passport number (which wasn't part of this incident anyway) since all BA do is check that the person has a passport or ID card, and frankly if it is a EEA document it will get the briefest of glances. So someone could book under your sister's name, use some other ID and particularly if HBO they may well get away with showing any old bus pass (I exaggerate but not by much). I would drop an email to the DPO email address given upthread so that BA is aware of this, and/or ring up BA, however I suspect the Contact Centres will be very busy.

On the face of it, it looks a different problem - before this incident fraudsters have been known to book travel like this, they target people with similar names by trawling the list of identities / credit cards available on the Dark Net. However it is worth keeping an eye on this thread to see if there is a wider pattern of similar problems emerging here.


When you have travelled from ARN to LHR, has anyone ever checked every digit on your passport against the number on MMB? Or the precise spelling of your middle name? If so, it certainly hasn't happened to me, and since I've got 3 passports and 1 Carte d'Identité I don't always remember which passport / ID I have used on the booking.
Before I get to that stage a border agent sitting in a windowed booth scans the passports and eye-balls me thoroughly. I don't think a fraudster would make it to Boarding.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 3:21 am
  #785  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
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Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
Before I get to that stage a border agent sitting in a windowed booth scans the passports and eye-balls me thoroughly. I don't think a fraudster would make it to Boarding.
Indeed, so do the border agents peer into your Manage My Booking? I don't think so. Just to spell it out more clearly: ticket issued in one name and passport number, the fraudster travels on another but legitimate ID altogether, maybe using similarish name. The credit card used was trawled to find a reasonable match. A more sophisticated version involves simple manipulation of the self printed boarding pass or App.
Petrus and Calchas like this.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 3:39 am
  #786  
 
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This is illustrating some of the difficulties from this point onwards. There may be multiple exploits occurring in parallel (especially if this were an inside job) and there may be things happening which are nothing to do with the breach, but no-one knows whether they are or not. Bearing in mind also that the details might not be used for months or years, it will be a nightmare to sort out.

I do get the impression that adchoices ads have been removed from the site - I wonder if this indicates the source of the problem? I can't confirm this as my PC now uses ad-blocking..


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Old Sep 10, 18, 3:43 am
  #787  
 
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Originally Posted by firstlight View Post
my understanding is that credit reporting tells you when attempts have been made to obtain credit , ie succesfully but the cifas block stops credit applications before approval. Better to prevent rather than detect i think. It's quite drastic as it slows legitimate requests for up to 2 years as they need additional security information but in the situation where people might suffer identity theft due to BA incompetence it's worth considering.
I registered for CIFAS myself. Simple to do and when you do a credit check with Experian etc then it sticks out like a sore thumb. Recommended.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 3:52 am
  #788  
 
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My partner used his debit card to make an online part payment during the period affected and this payment was to a booking already made over 6 months ago. He hasn't had any emails from BA. Would he be affected? To my knowledge BA have been saying it is only for bookings made during the window. Sorry if info already given - I'm a little averse to trawling through all 53 pages!

Edited to add: just found out the answer on BA.com - all online payments affected during the window! Curious he never had an email from BA.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 3:56 am
  #789  
 
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Meanwhile the Times is reporting that 'the legal firm SPG said yesterday that it was seeking compensation on behalf of passengers for "the inconvenience, distress and misuse" of their private information'.

Link (but behind a paywall): https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/n...data-6hkmz9zmc

The report suggests that law firm believes that each passenger may be able to claim £1250.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 3:57 am
  #790  
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Originally Posted by Flexible preferences View Post
My partner used his debit card to make an online part payment during the period affected and this payment was to a booking already made over 6 months ago.
Was this for BA Holidays? If so, we think they are not affected but this hasn't been made totally clear.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 4:09 am
  #791  
 
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Originally Posted by pomkiwi View Post
Meanwhile the Times is reporting that 'the legal firm SPG said yesterday that it was seeking compensation on behalf of passengers for "the inconvenience, distress and misuse" of their private information'.

Link (but behind a paywall): https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/n...data-6hkmz9zmc

The report suggests that law firm believes that each passenger may be able to claim £1250.
Looks like this will be a new opportunity for all those PPI claim firms when that well dries up next August … "Have you suffered a GDPR data breach? Did you know you can claim £1250? No Win, No Fee!".

It has been noted upthread that a data breach doesn't automatically entitle the individuals affected any form of compensation, I'm fairly sure that the good people of SPG know this too.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 4:10 am
  #792  
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Originally Posted by pomkiwi View Post
Meanwhile the Times is reporting that 'the legal firm SPG said yesterday that it was seeking compensation on behalf of passengers for "the inconvenience, distress and misuse" of their private information'.

Link (but behind a paywall): https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/n...data-6hkmz9zmc

The report suggests that law firm believes that each passenger may be able to claim £1250.
There's a non-paywall variation of the report here: https://londonlovesbusiness.com/spg-...c-data-breach/

Originally Posted by London Loves Business
SPG Law, the UK arm of US law giant Sanders Phillips Grossman, has today launched a £500m Group Action against British Airways Plc following BA’s announcement on Friday September 7th that nearly 400,000 customers’ personal and financial data was compromised in one of the UK’s most serious data breaches ever.

...

SPG Law Partner Tom Goodhead commented that: “Unfortunately, this is the latest in a number of catastrophic failures in BA’s IT systems. Unlike previous failures, however, this data breach has caused serious inconvenience and distress to nearly 400,000 people. BA are liable to compensate for non-material damage under the Data Protection Act 2018 and SPG Law will hold them to account.”

...
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Old Sep 10, 18, 4:17 am
  #793  
 
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My apologies if this particular piece was previously linked at some point, in what has soon become a very lengthy thread :

the Telegraph highlights the fact that BA was warned as to its vulnerability to hacking, in the wake of its failure, last year, to meet the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...le-data-hacks/
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Old Sep 10, 18, 4:36 am
  #794  
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Originally Posted by subject2load View Post
My apologies if this particular piece was previously linked at some point, in what has soon become a very lengthy thread :

the Telegraph highlights the fact that BA was warned as to its vulnerability to hacking, in the wake of its failure, last year, to meet the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...le-data-hacks/
From that report :-

​"Furious British Airways customers have been left having to cancel their credit cards with many reporting they had money taken from their accounts and rogue direct debits set up in their names.​​​​​"

How is that possible? Were bank account details also stolen? Or just sloppy reporting?
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Old Sep 10, 18, 4:37 am
  #795  
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Originally Posted by danam View Post
There's a gate passport/ID check leaving London. Different details should have been spotted if they traveled with their own passport/ID. So does this mean they also used a forged document, just for a one way to Zurich?

Edit: as c-w-s mentions, it can be a bit lax, but still a big risk.
Out of London going to Europe, no one really checks if you have the correct passport, just a passport.
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