British Airways has frozen its Executive Club frequent-flyer accounts after hackers breached security systems on the airline’s database. A spokesperson for the UK flag-carrier says there appeared to have been some illicit activity on just a few members’ accounts.
The representative said the unauthorised access seemed to be the result of an automatic programme triggered by an unknown third party. He added that the security breach had only reached the first levels of the accounts.
The spokesperson said BA wished to assure customers that the hacking had not compromised details such as credit card information or flight histories. He continued by saying freezing the affected accounts was purely a precautionary measure while IT professionals investigated.
The representative finished off by saying he wished to apologise to Executive Club members who were unable to log in to their accounts. A later statement said that analysts were still working on the issue and hoped that the several thousand accounts involved would be up and running again within the next few days.
A source close to the team working on the issue told media sources that they had not been able to identify the origins of the cyber attack so far. They could only ascertain it was the outcome of a programme specifically designed to test the resiliency and gaps in BA’s website security.
BA frequent flyers with Executive Club accounts face the issue of not being able to check or redeem their air miles until the problem is resolved. When members fly with the airline, or other carriers in the Oneworld alliance, they garner Avios points to use against future flights.