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December 5, 2014

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China Eastern hit by data leak

A SIGNIFICANT amount of personal information about China Eastern Airlines passengers was leaked this week following an attack on a computer system used by one of its ticket agents.

The breach was reported by a white-hat hacker — a benign expert who tests the security of computer systems — on

The anonymous poster claimed that a large volume of information about the airline’s customers was leaked on Tuesday due to a loophole in the system. The problem was flagged as “high alert.”

Wooyun is a website on which hackers share information about weaknesses they find in computer networks.

China Eastern yesterday confirmed that one of its agents had been hacked and that information about several passengers had been leaked.

It declined to reveal details of the attack, but told Shanghai Daily that the data related to customers that had been given refunds by the agent.

Despite the carrier claiming to have upgraded its security, the breach comes just months after a white hat reported in August that swathes of information about China Eastern passengers — including their names, dates of birth, passport and ID card numbers, and private addresses — had been leaked.

Many of the airline’s customers later complained of being bombarded with telephone calls from fraudsters and cheats.

China Eastern said at the time that all of its messages to passengers are sent via its official hotline on 95530.


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