Data leak hits India’s Akasa Air


Fresh from starting commercial operations earlier this month, India’s Akasa Air announced on Sunday (29 August) that it suffered a data leak that could have exposed some customer information to unauthorised people.

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“A temporary technical configuration error related to our login and sign-up service was reported to us on Thursday August 25, 2022,” the airline said in its statement. “As a result of this configuration error, some Akasa Air registered user information limited to names, gender, email addresses and phone numbers may have been viewed by unauthorised individuals. We can confirm that aside from the above details, no travel-related information, travel records or payment information was compromised. We have taken the following steps to mitigate risks for current and future scenarios:

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“On being made aware of this, we immediately stopped this unauthorised access by completely shutting down the associated functional elements of our system. Subsequently, having added additional controls to address this situation, we have resumed our login and sign-up services.

We self-reported the incident to CERT-In (which is the Government authorised nodal agency tasked to deal with incidents of this nature).

We have also notified the affected users of the above, have informed such users that this matter has been reported to CERT-In (which is the Government authorised nodal agency tasked to deal with incidents of this nature) and have advised users to be conscious of possible phishing attempts.

“We would like to clarify that basis our records there was no intentional hacking attempt, but that the situation was reported by a research expert through a journalist for which we are grateful. As a part of our commitment to be always transparent, we proactively shared this information with our customers who could have been potentially impacted,” the airline said.

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Anand Srinivasan, co-founder and chief information officer at Akasa Air, said: “At Akasa Air, system security and protection of customer information is paramount, and our focus is to always provide a secure and reliable customer experience. While  extensive protocols are in place to prevent incidents of such nature, we have undertaken additional measures to ensure that the security of all our systems is even further enhanced. We will continue to maintain our robust security protocols, engaging wherever applicable, with partners, researchers, and security experts from whom we can benefit to strengthen our systems.”

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