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Are airline security solutions reliable?

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has announced its findings about inspections of airlines’ compliance with laws on securing customer privacy. The inspections were conducted at Vietnam Airlines (VNA), Vietjet (VJ) and Jetstar Pacific (JPA).

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Airlines are using different booking systems

Inspectors found that air carriers are using different booking, seat reservation and ticket sale systems.  VNA is using a system provided by SABRE Airlines Solution, a prestigious booking software provider. VNA has also set up programs to supervise the activities of computer users and control access to the booking and reservation system.  However, the national flag air carrier still cannot fully prevent exposure of passengers’ information. The problem is that some regional branches of VNA have the right to run API programs connected with SABRE ticket booking and seat reservation programs.  These include software informing passengers about changes of flight schedules, which can display the lists of all passengers on flights and their phone numbers.  These programs are not managed uniformly among branches.

Inspectors also found that officers at booking agents share accounts, while many accounts had not been returned though the officers had left.

Inspectors also found that officers at booking agents share accounts, while many accounts had not been returned though the officers had left. As for VJ, the air carrier utilizes a booking system provided by Amelia InteliSys. However, VJ still has no program to effectively supervise the activities of officers who have the right to access the system. The system extracts the list of all passengers on flights with all personal information, and information is sent to passengers via emails. JPA uses the booking system of Navitaire which includes solutions on information security.  However, JPA ground staff are granted codes to access Navitaire booking system (SkyPort), so they can easily extract the lists of passengers and passenger personal information.  JPA has also developed its own software to extract passengers’ information. Ngo Tuan Anh, vice president of BKAV Corporation, a network security solution provider, said he booked tickets for a trip recently and information about family members was disclosed to taxi firms, which called him to invite him to use their service. “I felt uncomfortable. I did not buy tickets from booking agents, but booked tickets online on the airline’s website and made my payment with a card,” he said. “It is obvious that there are problems in data management of the airline.” According to Anh, information exposure not only causes inconvenience to passengers, but may also bring serious consequences.  This is why the Prime Minister has assigned the Ministry of Public Security to clarify the problem.

Thanh Lich

Source: VietNamNet

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