Published on Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Cyber-security firm claims to have discovered cause of BA's data breach

British Airways has refused to comment on claims by a cyber-security firm that it has found the malicious script that caused the recent data breach which affected 380,000 transactions.

RiskIQ claims the script was injected into both BA's website and its app, allowing hackers to steal customer's financial information.

One of its researchers has analysed code from BA's website and app from late August when the airline was hacked and claims to have discovered a 'skimming' script, which it said was similar to one that targeted Ticketmaster's website recently.

It said the code found on BA's website was 'very similar', but was modified to suit the way the airline's site was designed.

However, BA said: "As this is a criminal investigation, we are unable to comment on speculation."

In a report on his findings, which has been seen by the BBC, the RiskIQ researcher said: "This particular skimmer is very much attuned to how British Airway's payment page is set up, which tells us that the attackers carefully considered how to target this site instead of blindly injecting the regular Magecart skimmer.

"The infrastructure used in this attack was set up with British Airways in mind and purposely targeted scripts that would blend in with normal payment processing to avoid detection."

RiskIQ said the malicious script grabbed data from BA's online payment form, then sent it to the hackers' server when the customer hit the 'submit' button.

The same script was found on the BA app on a page describing government taxes and carrier charges, said RiskIQ.

BA is facing compensation claims from some of the 380,000 customers whose information was stolen.

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