Privacy watchdog criticizes Cathay Pacific over 2018 data breach

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Airbus A330-300 passenger plane takes off near a Taiwanese national flag at Taoyuan International Airport, Taiwan. (Reuters)
Updated 06 June 2019
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Privacy watchdog criticizes Cathay Pacific over 2018 data breach

  • The data breach compromised 860,000 passport numbers and about 245,000 Hong Kong identity card numbers
  • Cathay Pacific shares slumped to nine-year lows after the October announcement

HONG KONG: Airline Cathay Pacific has been found to have not followed data protection principles in relation to the security of passengers’ personal data, Hong Kong’s privacy watchdog said in a report published on Thursday.
Last October Cathay said data on about 9.4 million of its passengers had been accessed without authorization, adding that it had discovered suspicious activity on its network in March 2018 and that investigations in early May last year had confirmed that certain personal data had been accessed.
The breach compromised 860,000 passport numbers and about 245,000 Hong Kong identity card numbers, Cathay had reported.
Cathay Pacific shares slumped to nine-year lows after the October announcement.
In Thursday’s report the commissioner for personal data, Stephen Kai-yi Wong, criticized the airline for “lax” data governance, pointing at its failure to identify common vulnerabilities and put in place measures to plug them.
“Cathay adopted a lax attitude toward data governance, which fell short of the expectation of its affected passengers and the regulator,” he said, adding that the airline had retained Hong Kong identity card numbers of affected passengers longer than necessary.
A statement from the airline said it was assessing the commissioner’s report, which ordered Cathay to appoint an independent data security expert to overhaul its personal data storage systems and chalk out a clear data-retention policy among other measures.


IMF hopes Lebanon parliament will approve budget ASAP-finance ministry

Updated 25 June 2019
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IMF hopes Lebanon parliament will approve budget ASAP-finance ministry

BEIRUT: An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Lebanon said it hoped its parliament would approve the draft 2019 state budget as soon as possible, the Lebanese finance ministry said in a statement.
The head of the IMF mission, Chris Jarvis, hoped “parliament would as soon as possible approve the budget in which work happened to reduce the deficit to 7.6% (of GDP), which will help release funds that Lebanon needs from the Cedre conference,” said the finance ministry statement, which was issued in Arabic.
Donor states and institutions pledged some $11 billion in financing to Lebanon at the Cedre conference in Paris last year, conditional on the country undertaking long-delayed reforms.