PASSENGERS STRANDED; SPICEJET AIRLINE UNDER RANSOMWARE ATTACK

PASSENGERS STRANDED; SPICEJET AIRLINE UNDER RANSOMWARE ATTACK

Article by Tsaaro

7 min read

PASSENGERS STRANDED; SPICEJET AIRLINE UNDER RANSOMWARE ATTACK

Yesterday, the low-cost Indian airline SpiceJet informed its customers of an attempted ransomware attack that has impacted some of its systems and caused delays on flight departures. Ransomware is a type of malware attack in which the attacker locks and encrypts the victim’s data, and important files and then demands a payment to unlock and decrypt the data.

Confirming the development, a spokesperson informed that a ransomware attack on Tuesday night had slowed down the departure of flights today morning. According to the announcement published on the airline’s social media channels, its IT team managed to thwart the attack, so everything is back to normal operational status. However, following the airline’s tweet, many passengers took to social media to say they were still stranded at various airports, they said they were waiting for hours without food or water, and had little communication from ground staff.

According to public data, SpiceJet is the second-largest airline in India, operating a fleet of 102 aircraft to serve over 60 destinations. The firm has more than 14,000 employees and holds about 15% of the local market share. As such, a cyberattack impacting its operations affects a large number of passengers across India and international destinations, and those multi-hour delays translate to significant financial losses.

Previous Developments:

  • In January 2020, SpiceJet confirmed a data breach incident that allowed an unauthorized individual to access a database backup file on one of the airline’s poorly protected servers. The file contained unencrypted information of 1,200,000 passengers who had used SpiceJet’s services in the previous month, including their full names, flight information, phone numbers, email addresses, and dates of birth.

 

  • Last week, multiple SpiceJet flights were not allowed to operate as the airline had reportedly not made payments to the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The Times of India newspaper reported that the airline said its auto payment facility had an issue due to which the payment could not be processed.

 

  • Recently, Spice Jet announced plans to start broadband internet service on its planes soon.

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