Breach, Threat Management, Data Security, Malware, Phishing

Choppy waters: Data breach impacts Princess and Holland America cruise lines

The personal information of cruise passengers, crew and employees were compromised last year after an unauthorized party gained access to the email accounts of employees working for Princess Cruises and Holland America Line -- both divisions of Carnival Corporation & plc.

According to a disclosure notification posted on both cruise lines' websites [1, 2], as well as a letter filed with the California Attorney General's office, Carnival in May 2019 became aware of anomalous network activity. "It now appears that between April 11 and July 23, 2019, an unsanctioned third party gained unauthorized access to some employee email accounts that contained personal information regarding our employees, crew and guests," says the disclosure, authored by Jennifer Garone, director of data privacy at Carnival.

A press release regarding the incident says that the perpetrator managed to access the email accounts via deceptive phishing emails.

Impacted data varies from person to person, but includes names, Social Security numbers, passport numbers, national identity card numbers, credit card and financial account information and health information. The company does not believe that any of the accessed information has been misused, but it nonetheless is offering free credit monitoring and ID protection services.

Carnival claims the company "acted quickly to shut down the attack and prevent further unauthorized access," adding that, in response to the breach, it recruited a cybersecurity firm to investigate, and has reinforced and will be reviewing its security and privacy protocols, implementing changes as needed.

Bradley Barth

As director of community content at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for SC Media online conferences and events, as well as video/multimedia projects. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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