British Airways Possible Security Breach
British Airways customers over the past few days have found that the points they have accumulated for their flights known as Avios have been disappearing for their private accounts. Others were not able to enter their accounts at all.
Affected users gathered on flyertalk.com a forum for airline users to share experiences after contacting the call center of the company, which according to some reports had been handing out information that is contradictory at times.
It seems the incident was the result of computer hackers who gained access to a large amount of passenger’s accounts.
One user posted a message on email he had received from the Executive Club at British Airways that said the company was aware of what they termed “unauthorized activity” on his frequent flyer account. The frequent flyer British Airways program is known as the Executive Club.
The email continued by saying it appeared that a third party used information that was obtained elsewhere on Internet to attempt to gain access to your account.
It is not that unusual for hackers to attempt to access user accounts on a number of services once they are able to obtain large databases of passwords and usernames from a website that has been hacked.
That is because many Internet users tend to use one email address and one password to log in on a number of different accounts online, which is a practice that experts in security have advised against for a long time.
According to the British Airways email message that was posted on flyetalk.com, the company changed all the passwords that had been affected and as a precaution, temporarily suspended their Avios use. The removal of the Avios appears on the affected account as an Ex-Gratia transaction.
British Airways also has responded to users who were affected on Twitter, advising them that the Avios in their account were suspended because of an unauthorized third party on their account.
The company said they were unaware of any hackers that gained access to accounts, flight history or details of payment cards.