IT woes: Passengers were left for hours on the tarmac following a ransomware attack. Photo / Getty Images
A major Indian airline has blamed a “attempted ransomware attack” for disrupted services that left hundreds of passengers stranded.
On Wednesday customers of SpiceJet airlines reported hour long delays and being stuck on grounded planes.
Irate passengers communicating with the airline were surprised to be told by the Airline that they were recovering from an attempted “ransomware attack” overnight, that was still affecting services.
Despite claims that the situation had been rectified, many passengers continued to report knock-on problems.
“We are stuck here since 3 hrs and 45 mins” passenger Mudit Shejwar wrote to twitter, complaining he had received no communication, food or water while waiting on the plane.
Others were shocked to see that ground staff appeared to have left them at the gate.
Cabins full of travellers, including elderly and children, complained that they could not reach customer service numbers, and had been given no reason for the delay.
A statement from the airline apologised for the delays, saying that SpiceJet was working with cyber crime authorities to probe the incident.
“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,” said the spokesperson.
“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.”
This is the latest of the airline’s IT woes.
In January 2020 spiceJet
reported a data breach
that allowed hackers to access the airline’s poorly protected servers, reported Business Standard. This gave hackers access to the data of 1,200,000 passengers, including travel information, contacts and dates of birth.
Last week, the Airports Authority of India
suspended credit agreements
with the airline, disrupting several services. The Times of India reported that a problem with SpiceJet’s payment systems had left airport dues unpaid.