Popular flight-tracking site, Flightradar24.com has come under repeated cyber attacks over the past few days, raising fears of a resulting data breach among subscribers. The same has however been denied by the website.
Flightradar24.com confirmed that it is experiencing “sustained attacks” on its system and remains unavailable for users as engineers try to fix the issue. Users reported problems with web access, and lots of features missing despite being signed in with the popular gold membership. The service is available as Basic, Silver and Gold categories.
⚠️ For the third time in two days Flightradar24 is under attack. Our engineers are working to mitigate the attack as quickly as possible and we hope to be back tracking flights soon. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience. Updates to follow in thread.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) September 28, 2020
“Attacks on our systems continue and while we were able to bring services back for a short time, significant instability due to the sustained attacks has forced us to refocus our efforts to mitigate them,” the website said in a Twitter post.
The website, according a Bloomberg news report is among many popular tools and applications that allow users to track commercial and private jets as they fly, identifying the model and age, speed, weather and any distress signal to control towers. They are often the first source of information on airline emergencies and disasters, or even points of reference when a pilot illustrates something in the sky with a flight path.
Flightradar24, which started in 2006, says it has more than 2 million daily users and over 40 million downloads of its mobile application. It tracks 1,80,000 flights every day and its clients include Airbus SE and Boeing Co.
The attacks only affect the availability of our services, user data is not affected.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) September 29, 2020
The service remained unavailable on Tuesday morning, website Paddle Your Own Kanoo reported. “Attacks on our systems continue and while we were able to bring services back for a short time, significant instability due to the sustained attacks has forced us to refocus our efforts to mitigate them,” a Flightradar24 update explained.
It was not immediately clear why Flightradar24 was subject to a cyberattack but the website reassured visitors that private information was safe. The website sales subscription plans that unlock more detailed information about flights.
In a normal day, Flightradar24 claims to welcome over two million users and has proved incredibly popular even after the COVID-19 pandemic grounded flights worldwide. The site is often used to track high-profile flights and to provide early information after a crash.