Unknown hackers managed to breach the secure website of Airports Authority of India (AAI) and stole critical data pertaining to airports around India. The Airports Authority of India was hacked through a multi level information breach on night of 19th July, 2014 according to sources.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is a Indian Government enterprise and is responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure in India. AAI’s reach spread far and wide across India as it provides Air traffic management (ATM) services over Indian airspace and adjoining oceanic areas. It also manages a total of 125 Airports, including 11 International Airports, 8 Customs Airports, 81 Domestic Airports and 25 Civil enclaves at Military Airfields.
That is the prime reason which made the above breach a serious issue for the Government of India to call a secretary level meet to discuss the hacking and its effects. If the data falls into wrong hands or Jehadi outfits looking to attack Indian civilian interests, the results seem pretty scary.
Who were the hackers ?
AAI data includes all information about all the 125 airports its manages. Additionally it may also contain data regarding flight paths of all the airlines landing and taking off in India. In addition it may also contain the security credentials for logging into the Air Traffic Management (ATM) which can be used by hackers to divert flights or provide terrorists, critical information for executing a attack on civilian assets. AAI said that the attack took place on 19th July and in the morning of July 20 they discovered that the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system was rendered inoperative by the hackers.
The hackers may also cybercriminals looking for financial gains through accessing the details of all the personnel employed by AAI. The salary database includes bank information about a particular employee.
The quantum of the breach is not known as the matter is under investigation. As of now the authorities have directed the administrators to shift entire AAI infra backbone to NIC portal till their server is sanitized and becomes completely operational.