TAP cyber attack: Portuguese president’s personal data stolen

Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, along with parliamentarians, government personnel and security forces, are among the customers of the state airline TAP whose data was stolen, it was confirmed on Friday.

The flag carrier said the day before that the hackers had stolen some of their customers’ personal data and posted it on the dark web, although the state-owned airline claimed that all payment details appeared to be safe.

In a letter to customers, TAP said last month’s cyberattack obtained people’s names, nationalities, email and home addresses, telephone contacts and frequent flyer numbers from its servers.

“The release of personal data through open sources could increase the risk of their illegal use, in particular to obtain other data that could compromise digital systems in fraudulent attempts such as phishing,” said TAP.

“There is no sign that the payment data has been retrieved from the TAP systems,” he said.

TAP also said it took immediate containment measures to keep its systems running and to protect other data.

The Portuguese airline did not disclose the number of affected customers, which local media estimates at around 1.5 million. The military has also been targeted.

TAP urged customers to be wary of unsolicited contacts requesting personal information and told them not to click on links and attachments in suspicious emails. He also recommended changing passwords to stronger passwords and said he would refrain from further contact with individual customers regarding the issue to avoid confusion.

Christine Ourmieres-Widener, CEO of TAP, told reporters that the airline was “very serious about customer data” and said the incident was shocking.