The bank card details of nearly 400,000 British Airways customers have been stolen during one of the most serious cyber attacks that have hit a British history.
The break began shockingly 16 days ago, but was only discovered by the airline on Wednesday night.
It affects all 380,000 customers who booked online flights or booked through the BA app at that time with a bank card or credit card.
BA insisted that it should have told customers about the security breach as soon as possible and that it had now called in the police.
But the cyber outburst is a blow to the airline's ever-famous reputation for customer service, with some victims promising never to use them again.
BA CEO Alex Cruz said: "We deeply regret the disruption that this criminal activity has caused. We take the protection of our customers' data very seriously. & # 39;
The stolen data does not contain any passport data, but does contain personal data & # 39 ;, the airline said.
It is possible that British Airways passengers have their personal and financial information affected – if they have booked between August 21 and September 5
British Airways customers have let go of their anger at BA, especially about how long it strikes them
The company said: & # 39; The violation has been remedied and our website is working normally.
• British Airways communicates with affected customers and we advise customers who think they may have been affected by this incident to contact their bank or credit card provider and follow their recommended advice.
& # 39; We have informed the police and relevant authorities. & # 39;
Advice is currently being given to those who may have been affected, including the reset of passwords on the BA website.
The airline said it will contact people they believe have been collected by the criminals.
Compensation claims will be discussed on an & # 39; individual basis & # 39 ;, according to the firm.
British Airways has admitted that hackers have spent more than two weeks with online access to data, resulting in a risk to passengers
Alex Cruz, chairman and chief executive officer of British Airways, said in a statement: "We are very sorry for the disruption that this criminal activity has caused.
We take the protection of our customers' data very seriously. & # 39;
The airline said that it violated the violation as a "matter of urgency & # 39; was investigating and this to the police and other relevant authorities & # 39; had reported. The National Crime Agency has been brought in.
Last month, the International Consolidated Airlines Group of British Airways said that the profit in the first half of the year was £ 989 million. BA has raised £ 780 million of that amount.
The breach was unveiled yesterday at 6.15 pm after the stock markets were closed.
A spokesman confirmed that the airline had discovered the offense on Wednesday night, but needed time to investigate the case and assess which customers had been affected.
The data breach affects all customers who have booked online flights or used the BA.com app from 21.58 hours on 21 August to 21.45 hours on 5 September.
BA said it had not received reports from customers who had money fraudulently removed from their account. It added that the violation was & # 39; solved & # 39; and the website & # 39; normally worked & # 39 ;. In today's newspapers, including the Daily Mail, the airline has placed full-page ads that apologize to customers.
What to do if you are affected by British Airways data theft
If you think you have been affected by this incident, contact your bank or credit card company and follow their recommended advice. Look here for further updates, we will update this page.
How do I know if I am affected?
This applies to customer bookings made from 22:58 BST from 21 August 2018 to 21:45 September 5 2018 inclusive. We contact directly affected customers to advise them on what happened and advise them to contact their bank or credit card provider and follow their recommended advice.
Will there be any compensation?
We take the protection of our customers' data seriously and regret the concerns that this criminal activity has caused. We will continue to provide our customers with the latest information. We contact customers and manage any claims on an individual basis.
Which data has been lost?
The personal and financial data of customers who made opba.com bookings and the airline's mobile app were at risk. No passport or travel data was stolen.
Do I have to call my bank or cancel my credit cards?
We encourage you to contact your bank and follow their recommended advice.
What should I do if I have to travel today?
The incident has been resolved and all systems are working normally so that customers can check in online as normal due to travel.
Can I still check in?
Yes, all customers booked on our flights can check in normally.
Does this affect future bookings?
The incident has been resolved and ba.com is working normally, so future bookings will not be affected.
Anyone affected by the violation was asked to contact his bank or credit card company as soon as possible.
The leak is important because the scale of payment information to which the hackers have access has almost no precedent in the UK. The telecom firm TalkTalk was awarded a record £ 400,000 by the Information Commissioner Office (ICO) in 2016 when data from 156,959 customers were leaked the year before, but access to financial information of only 15,656 was obtained.
The airline has created ads with full pages in today's newspapers (photo), including the Daily Mail, and apologizes to customers for the infringement
Banks are legally obliged to have customers who have fraudulent debited from their account, but the hack raises the fear that the data of BA customers on the dark web & # 39; are sold to fraudsters who want to hack their accounts.
The flagship of the British flagship has suffered a number of blows due to its reputation as a customer.
An IT closure on the ground last summer and resulted in tens of thousands of passengers stranded around the world. In July of this year, BA apologized after computer problems had canceled dozens of flights to and from Heathrow.
The month before, more than 2000 BA passengers had canceled their tickets because the prices were too low.
Clients took part in social media last night to criticize the airline – with many problems at BA because they had not contacted them directly about the data breach.
A customer said on Twitter: "Idiots." So as a member of an executive club they have my card details, my passport, tel, e-mail, etc. All because you outsource IT to jokes to save money. & # 39;
Alex Neill or Which? said: & # 39; It is now vital that the company moves quickly to ensure that those affected get clear information about what has happened and what steps to take.
& # 39; Anyone who is afraid of fraud could consider changing his online passwords, checking bank and other online accounts, and being wary of emails about the violation. & # 39;
The BA Twitter account has been bombarded with complaints about the way they have dealt with the crisis
British Airways has joined a growing list of companies whose customers have stolen their data.
In July, Dixon's Carphone granted a huge data theft.
Initially, the company said 5.9 million bank details of customers and 1.2 million records with personal data were hacked in 2017 and remained unnoticed.
Later the company returned to the original figures and changed the total of customer records that were approached to an astounding 10 million.
Access was also gained to non-financial personal data, such as addresses, names and e-mail information.
The biggest infringement of the data involved shoppers at Currys PC World and Dixons Travel, but bosses emphasized that there is no related fraud.
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