Polish airline cyberattack 'can happen to anyone anytime'

Polish airline LOT is warning that any airline could be vulnerable to the cyberattack that caused the company to ground several flights in Warsaw, Poland, on Sunday.

“This is an industry problem on a much wider scale, and for sure we have to give it more attention,” LOT chief executive Sebastian Mikosz told a news conference on Monday, Reuters reported.


“I expect it can happen to anyone anytime,” he added.

The computer system the company uses to issue flight plans was hit by a suspected distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) on Sunday that overwhelmed and crashed the network with droves of traffic.

"This was a capacity attack, which overloaded our network," said Adrian Kubicki, a LOT spokesman.

LOT was able to safely land all the flights headed toward Warsaw, but had to cancel 10 flights and delay dozens of others as it worked to restore the system.

The airline has maintained no passengers were ever at risk.

In total, roughly 1,400 passengers were stranded Sunday afternoon and evening before things returned to normal Monday.

Investigators have yet to say who might be responsible for the attack.

The incident comes amid a heated debate in the U.S. about the safety of its air traffic control system.

Federal investigators have warned in recent months that “security control weaknesses remain” in the networks, possibly allowing hackers to disrupt flight routes.