Asiana Airlines website shut down by hackers

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Asiana Airlines website shut down by hackers

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A screen capture of Asiana Airlines web page shows an image of two men in masks with a sign reading “No Justice No Peace” after the page was hacked around 4:35 a.m. Monday. [JOONGANG ILBO]

The web page of Asiana Airlines was hacked Monday morning, causing troubles on the airline’s online service for about four hours.

Starting at about 4:35, visitors who clicked on the Asiana homepage were connected to a page reading “No Justice No Peace,” with an image of two men in black masks.

The hackers introduced themselves as Kuroi’SH and Prosox, and added a notice reading “I am Sorry, Asiana Airlines, but the world needs to understand the crime against humanity, carried out by Albanians pigs touching Serbia,” below the image.

Judging by the message, analysts speculated the hacker to be someone outside the country wanting to warn Albanians, rather than Korea or Asiana Airlines itself, however the investigation is ongoing.

Right after Asiana reported of the hacking incident, it notified the Korea Internet & Security Agency, it said in a statement Monday. “We are currently in field investigation of the case and it is expected to take a few days before we find out the exact purpose of the incident,” a spokesperson from the agency said. The agency declined to give an exact timeline of its investigation.

According to Asiana, no private data was leaked because of hacking. “What’s been hacked is the domain name system which connects Asiana Airlines Internet protocol and the domain [flyasiana.com], not the homepage itself,” the air carrier said in a statement. “There is no problem to the internal system or data managed by the web.”

The web page recovery began at 5:38 a.m. and took about four hours. During that time, customers weren’t able to book tickets online or through mobile devices. The hacked web page was seen by consumers globally.

Last year, the air carrier was in trouble due to the leak of the private information of about 47,000 passengers, which included photocopies of passports containing dates of birth and residential addresses. Then, the error was not due to hacking but due to an exposure of the universal resource locator (URL) by some error, the airline explained.

A user of the Asiana’s website accessed information saved on the frequently asked questions tab of the company’s online bulletin board through a simple system manipulation. Members of the website had uploaded files containing private information on the board for inquiries.

Asiana shares started weak Monday after news of the hacking, falling to as low as 4,260 won ($3.72) per share, down 0.81 percent from the previous trading day. The shares, however, rebounded near close and ended at 4,300 won, up 0.12 percent.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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