Brokers warned of escalating cyber attacks

BACA ─ the worldwide association of air charter professionals – has issued a cyber attack alert after reports that an increasing number of European brokers and operators have fallen victim to system hacks.  
The association said: “It appears that a very sophisticated criminal community is targeting the business aviation sector and hacked into broker and operator internal communications systems for access to bank accounts and trading information. The attacks have taken place throughout the UK and Europe.”
BACA understands that while this has been a problem for some time, “the escalation of attacks in recent months has been quite alarming”. 
It continued: “This seems to be a co-ordinated campaign targeting business aviation operators and brokers for significant sums of money.  
“In some incidences the attacks have originated through the use of the email and system accounts of current or recently departed employees. 
“It is BACA’s intention to alert members to the threat and emphasise the importance of security of company websites, communications and payment systems.”
BACA chairman Richard Mumford commented: "The number of cyber attacks we have heard about has risen quite dramatically.  BACA advises members and non-members to be extremely vigilant and monitor all transactions, internally and externally, at all times.”
According to intelligence gathered by BACA some companies were targeted using the communication accounts of recently departed employees.
It added: “Prevention is better than cure and therefore we have decided to issue this alert. To underline the importance of this BACA is planning to run a symposium/training day to alert brokers and operators to the risks, encourage the exchange of experiences and ideas, and to help formulate steps that can be taken to minimise the chances of cyber attacks."

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