Biman Bangladesh Airlines e-mail server was hacked 10 days ago due to a negligence. As a result the organization was facing critical disruption in communication, including exchanging aeronautical information.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Mahbub Ali made the disclosure at programme at a city hotel on Sunday.
He claimed that the gang that hacked the email server of Biman Bangladesh Airlines did not ask for ransom. However, he also said that there was no major damage done to Biman’s information. The server was also affected due to a negligence.
The State Minister said, “There was little damage. Though it’s not a major attack, an attack is a thing to consider. We do not have the information regarding their ransom demand. They could not take any information. They (hackers) could not penetrate the firewall.”
At that time, Biman’s Managing Director Shafiul Azim was present. He also claimed that they do not have any information regarding the ransom demand.
Azim also said that, “The matter is being investigated, the latest update will be announced jointly with the Ministry of ICT on March 27.”
It is to be noted, On March 17,
the email server of state-owned airline Biman Bangladesh Airlines was hacked. At around 2:30 a.m. that day, hackers informed Biman about their demands.
According to Biman sources, on March 21, the hackers said they had more than 100 GB of personal and confidential data of Biman. Apart from this, they have downloaded many databases from the internal network of the aircraft. If Biman does not accept their demands, they will publish them on their blog.
Then on the afternoon of March 22, the hackers sent another message to Biman. The message said, “You say in the media that no information has been leaked. But you are wrong.”
The hackers also told Biman that flight information, passport information of aircraft passengers and employees and several other information have been stolen.
According to the sources, the hackers demanded USD 5 million from Biman with a time limit of 10 days. Otherwise they threatened that all the information will be leaked.
When asked why the Biman's email server could not be recovered from the hackers even after 9 days, the managing director said, “There was no disruption in the operation or operational work of the Biman, it is working as usual. There was no problem. Work is still going on today. We hope to be able to give a complete picture of the incident tomorrow (Monday) together with the Information and Communication Technology Department.”
When asked whether an advance warning was given that the Biman might be a victim of a cyber attack, Shafiul Azim replied, “No such warning was given. A team of experts is working jointly. It will be known when the work of this team is over.”
When asked if the hackers caused this incident due to negligence in the security system of Biman, the MD said, “If we have any deficiencies, we will bring them forward. Biman will also work on how to prevent such incidents in the future.”