Date
21 November 2017
The hackers gained access to client names, Hong Kong ID numbers, passport numbers, e-mails, phone numbers and credit card information. Photo: RTHK
The hackers gained access to client names, Hong Kong ID numbers, passport numbers, e-mails, phone numbers and credit card information. Photo: RTHK

Travel agency forced to suspend services by hacker attack

Worldwide Package Travel Service (WPTS) was forced to close its stores in Hong Kong on Tuesday after the company was held for ransom by computer hackers.

The travel agency’s computer systems have been locked down since the attack and the company has received an email demanding a ransom, Apple Daily reports, citing sources.

Executive director Yuen Chun-ning said the attack was discovered on Monday.

The hackers entered the client database and gained access to client names, Hong Kong ID numbers, passport numbers, e-mails, phone numbers and credit card information.

WPTS said it had no choice but to suspend operations after it received a demand for ransom. It did not specify the amount.

The company said it was undergoing a system upgrade and a phone hotline was being kept live to handle inquiries.

The Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau is on the case.

The agency did not say how many of its clients were affected and whether its database was encrypted.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data said it has been notified by the company about the incident and will start investigating.

Meanwhile, services are expected to return on Wednesday and all tour groups will not be affected.

A customer, surnamed Kwan, said he had been at the Causeway Bay branch on Tuesday to inquire about packages to Japan when he to learned of the hacker attack.

He said he is worried about his privacy and is also less confident about WPTS.

Joseph Tung Yiu-chung, executive director of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, said it was the first time he had heard that a travel agent’s database was hacked.

He said the council has received five inquiries regarding inability to access the company’s website.

– Contact us at [email protected]

EL/BN/RA

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe