Business / Technology

Ctrip goes offline after hacker attack

By MA SI (China Daily) Updated: 2015-05-29 07:05

Ctrip goes offline after hacker attack

A Chinese employee leaves the office building of Chinese online travel agency Ctrip in Shanghai, China, March 26, 2014.[Photo/IC]

China's biggest online travel agency International Ltd was back online after a cyberattack forced its website and mobile app to go offline for 12 hours. According to the company's first quarter profit data, lost $1.07 million per hour due to the cyberattack.

The company said in an official statement that the attack, which occurred at 11:09 am, had damaged part of its servers. It said its technicians and engineers were working hard to restore all services.

The company denied rumors that all of its data were deleted and there were no data backups, saying "there is no loss of data on the platform and ordering data are kept intact".

Users who clicked on the company's website were directed to a page with the message "service unavailable". Its search engine service and other links were also not accessible.

"According to our investigations, all user data are safe with us right now. There is no danger," the company said.

The attack came just days after Ctrip received a financial boost of $250 million from the world's largest online travel operator LLC.

According to a report by the Beijing-based Internet consultancy Analysys International, Ctrip accounts for 31.1 percent of China's booming online travel sector, which amounted to 33.2 billion yuan ($5.4 billion) in 2014.

Zhu Zhengyu, an analyst at Analysys International, said: "The breakdown will have a significant impact on consumers, especially those who have already ordered hotels and flights on the Ctrip platform.

"Due to the cyberattack, customers will be unable to check into the hotels they have ordered online. It will also make it impossible for passengers to change flights," Zhu said. Ctrip's website shows the company has about 60 million members.

Zhu said: "Ctrip's business mainly involves booking hotels online. Many of its partners will see a considerable decline in traffic due to the breakdown."

It is not unknown for online travel sites to suffer from technical failures or cyberattacks. Major market players such as eLong Inc, in which Ctrip owns a 37.6 percent stake, also experienced an online attack on Dec 12.

Zhu said though Ctrip said users data are not compromised due to the attack, considering the big data boom in China, it is important for Internet companies to beef up efforts to protect data from cyberattacks.

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