Hacker attacks are increasingly investigated in relation to major U.S. sectors, spanning from health insurance to U.S. federal employees, and now aviation.
The same China-linked cyber crime group is suspected in the new investigation concerning Sabre Corp. and American Airlines. After breaching the system that held personal files of federal employees including intelligence agencies and military personnel files, the group moved to Sabre Corp.’s system which processes airlines and accommodation reservations.
As a result, U.S. American Airlines is extending the investigation to find if its own computers were tampered with.
The assumption that the same organized hacker-group linked to China targeted Anthem Inc., the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and Sabre Corp. is backed by U.S. officials. The latest disclosed attack on Sabre Corp. data management system is all the more worrying as United Airlines reported cyber attacks recently as well, attributed to the same group.
Sabre Corp. disclosed that it manages personal data of over one billion people yearly. It is unclear at this moment whether data was stolen or to what extent the hack would have proven fruitful for the group.
However, if Sabre Corp.’s computers were broken into, there is a strong possibility that American Airlines computers were also attacked. The Fort Worth based carrier and Sabre share network infrastructure, even after Sabre emerged as a separate company from the world’s biggest airline back in 2000.
The investigation, ongoing for the last month is still in process. So far, it was discovered that the same IP addresses used in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management were present in the American Airlines computer activity logs.
For now, Casey Norton, spokesman with American Airlines declared:
“Based on our deep and extensive investigations with the help of outside cybersecurity experts, American has found no evidence that our system or network have experienced a breach like those at OPM or Anthem”.
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