The cruise liner Princess Cruises, which confirmed that two of its ships had on-board outbreaks of Coronavirus, has now confirmed a data breach.

It was revealed that it had detected unauthorised access to several email accounts over a four-month period between April and July 2019, some of which contained personal information on its employees, crew and guests.

Carnival Cruise Line, Princess’ parent company, stopped their global operations after the outbreak of coronavirus in two of their ships and posted a notice on its website, revealing details of the breach. Shares of Carnival Cruise Line, Princess’ parent company, have dropped more than 50% since the outbreak began.

The post read: “In late May 2019, we identified suspicious activity on our network,” the notice said, adding that hackers gained access to “employee email accounts that contained personal information regarding our employees, crew, and guests.” 

Princess said the breach occurred between April 11, 2019 and July 23, 2019, and potentially included crew members’ and passengers’ “name, address, Social Security number, government identification number, such as passport number or driver’s license number, credit card and financial account information, and health-related information.”

However, the cruise line said the data “is not specific to each guest” and that it had no evidence that individual customers’ personal data had been “misused.”

Data breach

The company did not explain why they waited nearly a year to disclose the breach..

Carnival Cruise corporation saw two of its subsidiary cruise lines, Princess Cruises and Holland America, suffer data breaches  last year. These breaches occurred in April and July, yet Carnival didn’t notify the State of California until March 3.

The company has temporarily closed its global operations for two-months and are reviewing their security policies and implementing relevant changes.

Coronavirus

More than 700 cases were confirmed among passengers aboard the Diamond Princess, which was held off the coast of Japan in a quarantine effort that was widely criticized by health officials and experts. Separately, more than 20 people tested positive on the Grand Princess, which docked in Oakland, California. Already, a Florida couple who sailed on the ship have sued Princess, alleging gross negligence. Scientists recently revealed that Coronavirus may last on surfaces after finding traces of the infection in the cabins of the Diamond Princess cruise almost three weeks after passengers were evacuated.

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