Airline Cyber Attacks Up Over 15,000% Year Over Year <- Not A Typo

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Airline Cyber Attacks Up Over 15,000%

Airline Cyber Attacks Up Over 15,000% Year Over Year

Say What!?! Forbes has reported that attacks against passenger air travel increased by more than 15,000% between 2017 and 2018. This is all according to a company called Netscout and their research. Netscout is a provider of application and network performance management products.  That is a massive, scary number.

Why Airlines?

According to the report cyber criminals have started looking for other options outside of internet & cable providers, telcoms etc. because they have greatly improved their security.  Now they are starting to focus on the enterprise markets which includes passenger air travel.

A report from Sungard, who tracks major airline outages, there were 10 major events last year. These outages included Delta, Southwest, Alaska, Spirit, and American Airlines.  That is a majority of the major players in this space.  There have already been 3 outages reported this year.  These numbers don’t even include the much smaller attacks that go unreported that will affect airlines’ websites and booking procedures.


All of these attacks can cause serious issues for passengers and the airlines.  They often lead to flight delays, cancellations, and people being stranded sometimes for days.  It is a growing concern and while Forbes offers some tips to help avoid such attacks the truth is only not traveling will guarantee that.  We all know that isn’t happening 😉.

My tips would be to have flexible points currencies so that you can book a last minute flight on another airline if you get caught up in an attack.  This would also give you hotel options if the airline is being stingy.  Learn about using alliances too because they can help you avoid late booking fees etc. You have to be quick on your feet or you could be stranded with everyone else.  If you do run into a long delay hitting up the airline’s lounge can sometimes help you skip the lines and get better agents to help you out.


Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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