2 min read

Air Canada admits app data breach included customers' passport details

Graham CLULEY

August 31, 2018

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
Air Canada admits app data breach included customers' passport details

All 1.7 million users of Air Canada’s mobile app have had their passwords reset by the company following a security breach which saw hackers compromise up to 20,000 accounts last week.

A security notice published by the company explains that it detected “unusual login behaviour” related to the smartphone Air Canada app between August 22-24 2018, that may have seen 20,000 profiles “improperly accessed.”

20,000 profiles is – thankfully – just one per cent of the total number of users of the app, but that will be little comfort for those who have had their information compromised.

That’s particularly clear when you see the range of sensitive personal information exposed by the breach, including passport details:

  • name
  • email address
  • phone number
  • Air Canada account number
  • passport number
  • passport country of issuance
  • passport expiration date
  • country of passport issuance
  • nationality
  • NEXUS number
  • gender
  • country of residence
  • birth date

The company says that credit and payment card information was encrypted, and was not compromised in the security breach.

However, victims who have had their passport details stolen may face serious consequences, as fraudsters could use the details to set up accounts with insurance firms, mobile phone operators, banks and the like if they do not require sight of the physical passport.

As a consequence, victims might find themselves with ruined credit scores and bills, from which it may take a considerable length of time to untangle themselves.

There is also a risk that a fraudster could use the stolen information to request a new physical passport. However, Air Canada says that the Canadian government describes that risk as “low” provided the genuine passport holder still has physical ownership of the document.

BBC News, however, raises the issue that Air Canada required account passwords to merely be between 6 and 10 characters, and could not contain symbols. That, in itself, goes against the Canadian government’s own password advice.

However, it is not known if weak password policies played a part in the breach via Air Canada’s mobile app. And Air Canada says it has toughened password requirements since the incident, and users will be prompted to choose a new password next time they access the app or website.

Air Canada does offer some sensible advice – reminding customers to keep a close eye on their financial transactions, to contact their financial services provider if they see any unusual activity, and to “be aware of any changes to their credit rating”.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

August Spam Debrief: Bitdefender Labs Warns of Fraud Campaigns Exploiting the Russia-Ukraine War

August Spam Debrief: Bitdefender Labs Warns of Fraud Campaigns Exploiting the Russia-Ukraine War

August 31, 2022

4 min read
Snake Keylogger Returns in Malspam Campaign Disguised as Business Portfolio from IT Vendor

Snake Keylogger Returns in Malspam Campaign Disguised as Business Portfolio from IT Vendor

August 30, 2022

2 min read
What is medical identity theft and how to protect against it

What is medical identity theft and how to protect against it

July 27, 2022

2 min read
Curious about Omegle? Here’s how the roulette-style chat platform can threaten your online privacy and security

Curious about Omegle? Here’s how the roulette-style chat platform can threaten your online privacy and security

July 07, 2022

5 min read
Identifying and Dealing with Online Bullying Is Not Impossible - School Presentation Inside

Identifying and Dealing with Online Bullying Is Not Impossible - School Presentation Inside

June 28, 2022

2 min read
Let’s Celebrate World Social Media Day by Improving Your Privacy and Security Online

Let’s Celebrate World Social Media Day by Improving Your Privacy and Security Online

June 28, 2022

3 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

Crypto Exchange Finds Location Data on Hacker, Recovers Some Stolen Funds Crypto Exchange Finds Location Data on Hacker, Recovers Some Stolen Funds
Silviu STAHIE

October 04, 2022

2 min read
German Police Arrest Three People Accused of Running Massive Phishing Campaign German Police Arrest Three People Accused of Running Massive Phishing Campaign
Silviu STAHIE

October 03, 2022

1 min read
Prison for ex-eBay staff who aggressively cyberstalked company's critics with Craigslist sex party ads and funeral wreaths Prison for ex-eBay staff who aggressively cyberstalked company's critics with Craigslist sex party ads and funeral wreaths
Graham CLULEY

September 30, 2022

2 min read