LOT Airlines IT System Error Caused Flight Cancellations but Cause Unknown

·         On June 2, the Polish airline LOT canceled 10 flights because of an IT system failure initially believed to have been caused by hackers attacking the ground computer systems. Another 12 flights were delayed. The systems taken down were those used to issue flight plans and were down for about 5 hours.

·         If proven to be a malicious attack, this would be the first successful cyber-attack against an airline that affected air traffic patterns.

·        According to reports released immediately after the incident, it is possible that the attack came from within, that an unauthorized person had access to the network. In this case, it could be a matter of poor internal security.

·         An LOT spokesperson said that they are using state of the art systems so others in the industry who use the same systems are also vulnerable. The same spokesperson said that the safety of flights already in the air at the time of the incident was not compromised and only outgoing flights from Warsaw were affected.

·         The incident is being investigated by Polish authorities who have indicated through unofficial means that the incident could have been caused human error. According to unofficial reports, an external company responsible for LOT’s information systems made mistakes that took down the ground operations system but the authorities have yet to make an official statement.