Network Security, Vulnerability Management

American Airlines denies hack, but reinforces security efforts

American Airlines is redoubling its efforts to ensure its computer systems are secure in light of an apparent security incident at its one-time subsidiary Sabre.

The travel-reservation-giant Sabre said today that it is investigating a possible security breach, but despite claims made in a Bloomberg News story, American Airlines is strongly denying it was hacked. Bloomberg, citing sources close to the investigation, said the airline and Sabre were both on the receiving end of an attack similar in nature to those that struck health insurer Anthem and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

“There is no indication or evidence of an attack or that any customer data has been compromised,” said American spokesman Casey Norton, adding that, “Because of a threat to a close partner that we work closely with on reservations we are looking closely at our own security efforts.”

Sabre confirmed to in an email statement on Friday that it had suffered a security event.

“We recently learned of a cybersecurity incident, and we are conducting an investigation into it now.  At this time, we are not aware that this incident has compromised sensitive protected information, such as credit card data or personally identifiable information, but our investigation is ongoing,” the company said.

Sabre was a subsidiary of American Airlines until it was spun off in 2000 and the company still handles the airline's reservation system. Norton said that American Airlines owns many IP addresses used by other companies so it may appear that it was a victim when in reality it was another firm.

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