Currently for sale on a well-known hacker forum are approximately 60 million people’s personal data, which includes full names, telephone numbers, passport details, and birth dates — as well as passenger IDs and reservation IDs that match the records of Malaysian airline Malindo Air.
The data made freely available by the hacker includes the information of over 25,000 people in the Netherlands; over 44,500 people in Germany; over 20,000 people in New Zealand; and over 7,000 people in Belgium. The hacker further claims the database has information on “all countries” worldwide.
The complete dataset, containing information on more than 60 million people all over the world, is currently for sale for five thousand U.S. dollars.
VPNOverview has accessed the sample of data belonging to four different countries and approached several people included in the database to confirm the validity of the leak. Our sources confirmed that the leaked phone numbers belonged to them and that they had flown with Malindo Air in recent years. The informants asked not to be named.
To further confirm the validity of the data, we checked the hacker’s claim that it was a recent hack by comparing ages and categories between the 2021 leak and the earlier Malindo Air 2019 leak.
Data Breach Exposes Personal Information
The leaked information includes not only general flight data, but also passengers’ phone numbers, passport numbers, birth dates, and special needs (such as wheelchair space). The exposure of such specific personal data means that the likelihood of phishing attacks increases significantly.
The full list of information leaked is as follows:
- Passenger ID
- Main Passenger ID
- Passenger Type (adult, child, or infant)
- Reservation ID
- Title (e.g. Mr., Ms., Dr., etc.)
- First Name
- Date of Birth
- Mobile Number
- Passport Number
- Passport Issue Date
- Passport Expiry Date
- Country where Passport was Issued
Malindo Air Hacked in 2019 and 2013
In 2019, the data of millions of Malindo Air passengers were also exposed. The leaked data was uploaded online by a hacker known as “Spectre,” who owns and manages a dark web site publishing links for leaked data.
The airline’s CEO, Chandran Rama Muthy, confirmed the leak and stated that the company would be working with third-party vendors to investigate the situation.
In 2013, Malindo Air’s Twitter account was also hacked, with the hacker joking that the airline would give away a hundred thousand tickets for free.
Malindo Air is a Malaysian airline under Thai Lion Air. The airline flies between Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, and Penang.
What to Do if You Have Flown with Malindo Air
If you have previously flown with Malindo Air, take extra precautions against phishing messages, as cybercriminals may try to get even more information from you, such as your bank details. Monitor your accounts closely for any attempts to log in or access your online assets.
Be wary of identity theft, as well, as your data may be used maliciously by scammers. As a safety measure, report the potential identity theft to your local authorities and subscribe to an identity theft monitoring service such as LifeLock.
To protect yourself further, you can read our resources on cybersecurity and privacy here:
- What is Hacking and What are Hackers?
- What is Phishing? Be Wary of Fake Emails and Other Scams!
- 8 Simple Ways to Guarantee You Stay Safe Online