Hackers Hack into Polish LOT Airlines and Ground 1,400 Passengers at Warsaw, Poland, Airport

On Sunday, some flights operated by Poland’s national airline, LOT, were grounded at Warsaw’s Okecie airport after unknown hackers attacked its computer system. More than 1,400 passengers were affected, with 10 national and international flights cancelled and another 12 delayed, spokesman Adrian Kubicki said.

In an interview with TVN 24 television, Kubicki described the incident as the “first attack of its kind.”

The system was hacked into at about 4 pm local time (3pm GMT) and it took around five hours for the specialists to find a solution to the problem. The attack is now being investigated by the airline authorities.

LOT provided seats for some passengers on other flights, while services were getting back to normal on Sunday evening. LOT also provided accommodation to those who were forced to stay overnight.

Flights to Dusseldorf, Copenhagen, Hamburg and Polish cities were affected, although LOT emphasized that the sudden malfunction did not affect the airport or airplanes that were already in the air.

At no point was the safety of ongoing flights compromised, Kubicki said, and flights destined for Warsaw were able to land safely.

“We’re using state-of-the-art computer systems, so this could potentially be a threat to others in the industry,” Kubicki said.

The International Civil Aviation Organization in December 2014 had stated that cyber crime is seriously threatening flights’ safety, and promised to establish a “security culture” to protect travelers against any occurrence of disastrous incidents.

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