Cyber-Attacks Wiping Out Entire Accounts — Slack, GitHub And British Airways Hit

Cyber-attacks seem to be becoming more and more frequent, with major companies like Target and Anthem suffering massive security breaches within the past few years and thousands of nude photos being leaked online. This week has brought another frightening story of a cyber-attack, this time affecting British Airways, the chat service Slack and the web hosting service GitHub.

According to BBC News, the cyber-attacks on Slack, GitHub and British Airways all occurred independently of one another and were accomplished through different methods. This could mean that the small cluster of cyber-attacks on Slack and GitHub is merely a coincidence, and only serves as evidence of increasing regularity of security hacks.

According to Tech Crunch, the cyber-attack on Slack was particularly thorough. Slack is a rapidly growing team chat service that is currently valued at around $2.8 billion. But the success of Slack could have contributed to the motivation behind the cyber-attack, and it only means more bad news for more people.

Slack was hacked in February. The cyber-attack was so severe that hackers were able to poke around Slack’s central database for as many as four days. Personal profiles and information were compromised, however no financial data was stolen from Slack.

Victims of the cyber-attack on British Airways were not as lucky. Customers complained about major breaches to their credit card information as a result of the cyber-attack. One customer reported that their account had been used to book a hotel somewhere in Spain. Another claimed that a list of previous transactions showed a hacker had completely wiped out their credit card account. Many more complained that their BA’s Executive Club points had been drained.

A spokesman for British Airways released the following statement about the cyber-attack.

“This appears to have been the result of a third party using information obtained elsewhere on the internet, via an automated process, to try to gain access to some accounts.”

The good news is this particular wave of cyber-attacks on Slack and British Airways happened on a smaller scale than recent hacks. A relatively small portion of customers were affected, despite how invasive the attacks were on Slack and British Airways. Even after four days in the database, hackers were unable to attain important data from Slack servers. Slack reassured its users “there was no unauthorized access to any of your team data (such as messages or files).”

[Images courtesy of Getty Images and Slack]