BACA, the London-based air charter association, has alerted its members to the risk of cyber attacks, following an increase in the number of reported attacks in recent months. At the 438th meeting of the BACA Council it was reported that an increasing number of European brokers and operators have been the victims of cyber attacks.
The association says that “a very sophisticated criminal community” appears to be targeting the business aviation sector and has hacked into broker and operator internal communications systems for access to bank accounts and trading information. The attacks have taken place throughout the UK and Europe.
BACA understands that while this has been a problem for some time, the escalation of attacks in recent months has been quite alarming. This seems to be a co-ordinated campaign targeting business aviation operators and brokers for significant sums of money. In some incidences the attacks have originated through the use of the email and system accounts of current or recently departed employees. It is BACA’s intention to alert members to the threat and emphasise the importance of security of company websites, communications and payment systems.
BACA Chairman Richard Mumford comments “The number of cyber attacks we have heard about has risen quite dramatically. BACA advises members and non-members to be extremely vigilant and monitor all transactions, internally and externally, at all times. The Council has been advised that some companies were targeted using the communication accounts of recently departed employees”
Mumford adds: “To underline the importance of this, BACA is planning to run a symposium/training day to alert brokers and operators to the risks, encourage the exchange of experiences and ideas, and to help formulate steps that can be taken to minimise the chances of cyber attacks.”