The IT attack grounded more than 1,000 passengers on Sunday afternoon
Between 1,400 and 1,500 passengers at Warsaw’s Chopin Airport were grounded on Sunday after hackers attacked airport IT systems, according to state-operated airline Lot.
The attack occurred on Sunday afternoon and recovery took about five hours, during which time 10 of the carrier’s flights within Poland and to European destinations including Munich, Hamburg, Copenhagen and Stockholm were cancelled, with about a dozen more delayed, Lot said.
The attack affected Lot’s ground operation systems, impairing the airline’s ability to create flight plans, meaning outbound flights could not leave Warsaw, according to the company. The incident didn’t affect planes’ ability to land safely in Warsaw.
“We’d like to underline that it has no influence on plane systems,” Lot stated.
A subsequent statement said ground operations were “under control” and that Lot was working on returning flights to regularity. Some passengers were able to board flights by Sunday evening and Lot said it was providing hotels for those stranded in Warsaw overnight.
Lot said no other airports were affected.
A US researcher recently raised questions as to the security of on-board plane computer systems, claiming it was possible to hack into planes while in-flight and take control of navigation and other systems.
In December of last year, a technical error at Swanwick air traffic control centre resulted in the partial closure of airspace in and around London – almost exactly a year after a software failure at the same facility caused air travel chaos across the UK.
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