Ransomware Attack Left Indian Airline Passengers Stranded

Colin Thierry
Colin Thierry Writer
Colin Thierry Colin Thierry Writer

Indian budget airline SpiceJet says that an “attempted ransomware attack” against its IT infrastructure caused flights to be delayed or canceled and left passengers stranded.

Flights with the airline were disrupted by the cyber attack on Tuesday night, but the company initially downplayed the impact of the attack. SpiceJet claimed that it had merely “slowed down morning flight departures.”

In a tweet, the airline claimed on Tuesday that it had now “rectified the situation” and that all flights were “operating normally.”

However, some passengers shared photos and videos on social media showing that they had waited hours for boarding. This occurred without any updates from SpiceJet, long after it claimed to have resolved the issue.

Other frustrated passengers said that they had attempted to contact the airline’s customer care department by telephone, WhatsApp, and its automated customer service agent without success.

In its most recent update on Wednesday, SpiceJet said, “Certain SpiceJet systems faced an attempted ransomware attack last night that has impacted our flight operations. While our IT team has to a large extent contained and rectified the situation, this has had a cascading effect on our flights leading to delays.

“Some flights to airports where there are restrictions on night operations have been cancelled. SpiceJet is in touch with experts and cyber crime authorities on the issue.

“Please note that in the air transport sector flights are rescheduled, cancelled, delayed, and diverted to other fields due to operational reasons and regulatory directions. They accordingly form a part of its terms of carriage. We sincerely regret the trouble.”

One high-profile person impacted by these delays was Indian politician Dr. Satish Poonia. He expressed his disappointment both at his delayed travel and SpiceJet’s lack of an explanation. Dr. Poonia described the company’s handling of the delay as “very shameful, gross negligence.”

About the Author

About the Author

Colin Thierry is a former cybersecurity researcher and journalist for SafetyDetectives who has written a wide variety of content for the web over the past 2 years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, watching sports, and playing video games.

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