Cybersecurity Threats Growing In Travel and Transportation

IBM Security has issued new research highlighting that the travel industry and its customers are increasingly the targets of cyberattacks as criminals seek to monetize highly valuable travel data. Compounding the problem, a new survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of IBM Security1 reveals that travellers are still blind to the risks they face on the road.


The survey found that only 40 per cent of respondents believed it was likely they would be targeted for cybercrime while travelling, yet 70 per cent are engaging in high-risk behaviors while on the road.


Attacks in the travel and transportation industry are becoming more frequent, opening already unwary travellers to cybersecurity threats during their journeys. According to the 2019 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, the transportation industry has become a priority target for cybercriminals as the second-most attacked industry—up from tenth in 2017— attracting 13per cent of observed attacks. Since January 2018, 566 million records from the travel and transportation industry have been leaked or compromised in publicly reported breaches.


"Traveling has always been when people are more vulnerable. A few hundred years ago, the perpetrators were pirates or highwaymen. Now those criminals are still out there, but they've changed their methods to focus on digital attacks instead," said Caleb Barlow, Vice President of X-Force Threat Intelligence at IBM Security.


"People carry a goldmine of data when travelling including passports, payment information and detailed travel itineraries. When placed in the hands of a cybercriminal, all of this information can be patched together into a complete picture of the traveller's life to inform identity theft, initiate spear phishing attacks, or be sold on the dark web."

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