Companies urged to protect against cyber security after Norwich Airport hack raised in parliament

Norwich airport.

Norwich airport. - Credit: Archant © 2008

Companies have been warned they are responsible for protecting personal data in the wake of a cyber attack at Norwich Airport.

Home office minister Mike Penning said companies which hold the personal data of individuals has a responsibility to protect it, after he was questioned on the issue by Norwich MP Chloe Smith.

She told the House of Commons: 'Norwich Airport in my constituency suffered a minor cyber attack on its website last week. Will the minister join me in first of all encouraging business to check they defences, and secondly will he redouble his efforts to be sure we are safe from cyber terrorism in light of the callous attacks on which we are all agreed.'

To which Mr Penning replied: 'We have a personal responsibility, but so do companies. We are working very closely with banks in particularly, but all companies are responsibility for protecting the data they hold, particularly personal data of individuals.'

Bosses at Norwich airport confirmed they have been the victims of a cyber-attack - but insisted security was not compromised.

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It is believed the hacker accessed an old list of media contacts held by the airport and then emailed them to let them know what he had done.

The hack, which is believed to have happened in October, is the second similar incident in the space of just four years.

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In 2011 a hacker broke into the systems of the airport and leaked personal information contained in their job applications' database.

As a result of the breach, administrator names, usernames and passwords were leaked, but also the entire contents of their job applications database. More than 2,000 titles, names, addresses, postal codes, email addresses, phone numbers and town names were published online.

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