Investigation Underway Into Qantas App Privacy Breach

A group pf Qantas aircraft parked together showing Flying Kangaroo tails
Photo Credit: Josh Withers via Pexels

Qantas experienced a technology issue with its mobile app on May 1, 2024, which resulted in some frequent flyers seeing the travel information of other customers. This included names, upcoming flight details, points balances, and flyer statuses.

Qantas identified and resolved the app issue within a few hours, assuring customers that their financial information and Qantas Points remained secure.

The incident unfolded throughout the morning, with Qantas issuing three updates via their official channels.

Qantas is currently investigating the cause of the glitch, and their findings so far indicate a technology issue potentially linked to recent system changes.

News sources carried reports from Qantas app users who described being able to see other users flight bookings.

“Another colleague of mine said it looked like she was able to cancel somebody’s flight ticket,” according to one customer as reported by The Guardian.

Interior view of Qantas check-in at Melbourne Airport.
MDRX, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Qantas Updates Morning 1 May

Early reports (9:00 AM AEST): Qantas acknowledged user reports of an issue with the app and promised further information as soon as possible.

Update One (10:15 AM AEST): Qantas apologized for the inconvenience and confirmed they were investigating the cause, suspecting it might be linked to recent system changes.

They advised users to log out and log back in to their Qantas Frequent Flyer accounts within the app. Additionally, Qantas cautioned users to be wary of potential social media scams exploiting the situation.

Qantas Airbus A380

Qantas Updates Afternoon 1 May

Final Update (12:10 PM AEST): The airline confirmed the app issue had been resolved and reiterated their apology to impacted customers. They provided further details about the cause, attributing it to a technology glitch rather than a cybersecurity breach.

Qantas emphasized that only basic travel information was exposed, and no financial details or points were accessible. They reassured customers that there were no reports of passengers using incorrect boarding passes.

While the incident caused concern for some users, the airline acted swiftly to identify and address the problem. Their ongoing communication throughout the morning kept customers informed and helped to mitigate potential risks.

This event does however underscore the importance of data security in mobile applications. Qantas will likely conduct a thorough review of its app’s security protocols to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Considerations with App Usage

Here are some additional points to consider with general app usage:

  • It’s important for users to remain vigilant regarding potential phishing attempts, especially in the wake of such an incident. Be cautious of unsolicited emails, calls, or social media messages claiming to be from Qantas. These scams may try to trick you into revealing personal information or clicking on malicious links.
  • Regularly updating apps with the latest security patches can help minimize security vulnerabilities. Many app stores will notify you when updates are available for your installed apps.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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