British Airways suffers million-dollar security breach


Art by Kyung Ah Kim

The internet assists billions of people every day in a positive light, yet the internet poses extreme dangers jeopardizing society’s personal information. In June 2018, British Airways was attacked by hackers and is now the target of a $230 million fine. The attackers were able to acquire customers’ logins, payments, travel booking details, and credit cards. In 2018, hackers stole information from approximately 447 million consumers. Compared to the statistics in 2017, hackers have found 26% more information from large scale corporations that harbor personal details regarding their clients. The offenders of the British Airways breach are still unknown; however, the airline is still looking for the hackers’ identity.

“The hackers create a code for a specific website, and they can check the activity of the website, therefore, when someone logs into an account or paying for something, the hacker can log back in, and the server sends the hacker information that he or she wants,” said computer science teacher Mrs. Katie Anderson.

Upon the discovery of the British Airways security breach, corporate attempted to discover the origins and means of the hackers’ activity. The airline did not find any evidence of the activity on the customers’ accounts. Due to this catastrophic incident, health care businesses, government agencies, and financial services will now have increased fines for the next 6-12 months.

“People hack because they want to use other people’s accounts and privacy information for their entertainment or crime,’’ said sophomore Mary Park.

The British Airways hacking incident was also prevalent on August 21 and September 5 when major security breaches also took place. On September 6, the airline found and resolved the hacking situation. For the airline to make its case in court, they had 28 days to accumulate the necessary evidence. Companies such as Target Corporation and Uber needed to pay $18.5 million in 2013 when they were hacked. Facebook was also fined up to $3 billion in April of 2018 from the Federal Trade Commission due to various privacy violations. Ireland has had over 50 privacy investigations in response to large companies such as Facebook and Apple.

While the internet has positive aspects, it also has many negative ones. Looking out and being aware of potential hacking on devices used every day can make a large difference in national and personal security as hacking instances become more prevalent.