Delta Airlines, Retail Giant Sears Customer Data May Have Been Exposed in a Cyberattack

Technology > IT

Photo by: Andrei Dimofte via Wikimedia Commons


Delta Airlines and American department store company Sears confirmed that the payment information of hundreds of thousands of their clients may have been exposed in a cyber attack through an online chat service, reported Los Angeles Times.

In separate statements released by the two companies, the chat service that appears on Delta Airlines’ website was compromised starting September 26 up to October 12 last year. 

The chat service helps passengers to key in their questions and make flight reservations. The replies are all provided via an automated system. The representatives of the carrier claimed that as passengers manually entered their data during a payment transaction, the data may be have been breached.

Delta said to its passengers that in case the payment cards of their customers were fraudulently used because of the cyber incident, they will make sure that their customers will not be held responsible for such activity.

While Delta referred to the affected number of clients as “several hundred thousand,” Sears claims, “We believe this incident involved unauthorized access to less than 100,000 of our customers' credit card information.”

Delta assures its customers that no government ID, SkyMiles, and passport information were affected and that they have already notified the federal law enforcement officials.

In the last few years, computer glitches have been a problem in the airline industry. Some are so severe they stopped to accept reservations or forced the carriers to ground their airplanes. In 2015, for instance, the United Airlines issued a ground stop for all their United States departures, blaming the issue on a failed computer network that disrupted their reservation system.