Southwest Airlines – Cyberattack or failed disaster recovery?

21 July 2016 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Author(s): Peter Vogel

One might conclude that there had been a cyberattack after Southwest Airlines cancelled more than 700 flights on July 21, 2016, but Southwest claimed that the IT system failed and then “…the backup failed and then the restoration process also failed. It took about 12 hours to finally get all the systems restored” according to CEO President Gary Kelly as reported by the Dallas News on July 21, 2016 and which also had this comment about some of the impacts of the outage:

…which affected customer-facing portions of the company’s operation including passenger check-in, printing boarding passes, buying tickets and rescheduling itineraries.

Computerworld‘s entitles “Southwest Airlines delays flights after computer issues” included this comment:

Southwest did not immediately respond to a request for information on what the technology problem was. It said in the statement that it had a team of experts working to resolve the technical issues and the systems were gradually coming back online.

The team of experts may conclude that there was a cyberattack since IT backups and restoration are not designed to fail!

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