It seems that no company that has a public website is immune to hackers and data thieves anymore. Delta Air Lines just found that out the hard way when it that [24]7.ai--a company that provides online chat services for a variety of companies including Delta--was involved in a "cyber incident." This cyber incident allowed Delta customer payment information to be accessed during the period from September 26, 2017 to October 12, 2017.

While Delta Air Lines was notified of this breach last week, the company chose not to make the incident public until yesterday. In a statement released late yesterday afternoon by Delta, the company described the steps it has taken to rectify the breach:

"Upon being notified of [24]7.ai's incident, Delta immediately began working with [24]7.ai to understand any potential impact the incident had on Delta customers, delta.com, or any Delta computer system. We also engaged federal law enforcement and forensic teams, and have confirmed that the incident was resolved by [24]7.ai last October. At this point, even though only a small subset of our customers would have been exposed, we cannot say definitively whether any of our customers' information was actually accessed or subsequently compromised."

According to the statement, Delta will directly contact customers whose payment data was compromised by the cyber incident, and if customer payment cards were used fraudulently as a result, Delta "will ensure our customers are not responsible for that activity."

In addition, the company plans to set up a dedicated website, delta.com/response to address customer questions and concerns. 

Delta Air Lines is not the first major company to suffer a data breach that has exposed customer payment and other sensitive personal information, and it certainly won't be the last. Companies as varied as Saks Fifth Avenue, Gamestop, Panera Bread, Sonic, Whole Foods, Kmart, Forever 21, and Arby's all reported data breaches in 2017 that may have affected millions of people.

To protect yourself from data breaches like these, be sure to closely check your credit and debit card statements every month. If you see something out of the ordinary, contact your bank or credit card company immediately.

Published on: Apr 5, 2018