This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
A group of hackers, supposedly originating in China, has comitted a cyber attack and managed to break into the American Airlines computer system, as well as that of Sabre traveling agency, Bloomberg reports. The traveling agency said they have no confirmed information on a successful attack on their systems, or at least that any sensitive data such as credit card numbers or personal information of any of its clients had disappeared. Even so, the company has announced that it is undergoing a thorough investigation in order to find out any details on the cyber attack.
American Airlines announced that it has gone through a thorough examination of its computers in order to detect evidence that might point out to similarities between the attack on them and other recent cyber incidents claimed to be by the same chinese hacker group, among them the OPM attack in which personal financial data of 4 million government employees was stolen. The company has examined digital signatures, IP addresses and the attacker’s modus operandi and has concluded that there is no similarity between the cyber attacks on the government and the last one on the company’s computers.
As mentioned, cyber attacks against American private companies and government are nothing new. The United States is fighting a virtual war against terrorists as well as hacker groups supported by different governments. News reports are portraying a battlefield in which the U.S. is in constant defense whereas the hackers are constantly on the offense, attacking over and over again, usually not successfuly. American law enforcement agencies and security services are wise in putting great efforts into developing better defense methods to meet cyber threat, but as many have said before: The best defense is offense. Is it time to change the american virtual battle conception?