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Vietnam Airlines assures customers online booking is safe a week after hack

Friday, August 05, 2016, 21:00 GMT+7

The online booking and payment services on the Vietnam Airlines website are operating in normal state and with assured security, the national flag carrier said Thursday, one week after it was allegedly compromised by a group of Chinese hackers.

In a joint statement released with Vietcombank, one of the country’s top lenders, Vietnam Airlines reassured customers that they can book tickets online without fear of their privacy data or bank information being breached.

The carrier said users of its online booking system conduct transactions such as seat choosing and payment “directly with the Internet booking engine and payment gateway of [its] partners, which are hosted overseas rather than in Vietnam Airlines’ ICT system.”

This means that even if the Vietnam Airlines system is compromised, users should not be worried as transactions are done on safe and secured servers.

On Friday last week, hackers compromised the Vietnam Airlines website, defaced the homepage of its VIP membership section, and later leaked data for more than 410,000 loyal flyers online.

The attackers left a message on the defaced website, saying they are members of 1937cn, a prominent Chinese hacker group, which later denied responsibility.

Vietnam Airlines said it has been closely working with partners to ensure its system and database are safe and can operate normally.

“We ensure safety and security for the booking and payment information of customers, and will never store your credit card security codes in any of our databases,” the statement, only available in Vietnamese, reads.

In the wake of the July 29 attack, two local lenders, VietinBank and Techcombank, have temporarily disabled the online payment feature for cardholders involved in the data breach.

However, Vietcombank deputy CEO Dao Minh Tuan said in the Vietnam Airlines statement that “any payment information customers provide during the online booking process with Vietnam Airlines is secured.”

Vietnam Airlines deputy general director Trinh Ngoc Thanh also asserted that the online booking system is in normal and stable service after a week of recovering from the attack.

“We are sorry and apologize to our customers for any inconvenience and worry that arose from the incident,” he said.

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