Delta Accused of Hacking Passenger's PC
By Kevin Parrish, published on October 14, 2009

" An airplane passenger advocate clams that Delta Airlines hacked into her organization's AOL accounts and her laptop.

Kate Hanni, the executive director and founder of the Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights, is accusing Delta Airlines of foul play, claiming that the company--along with Metron Aviation--hacked into her organization's e-mail accounts and her personal laptop. The reason, she claims, was to sabotage her organization's lobbying efforts to pass federal legislation to help stranded flyers.

Her complaint, listed here in PDF format, says that the hacking originally began back in 2008. According to Wired, Hanni learned from America Online that her organization's AOL e-mail accounts--which included spreadsheets, lists of donors, and other sensitive data--were being directed to an unspecified location.

In addition to the AOL accounts, Hanni said that Delta Airlines hacked into her personal laptop, accessed and copied her files, and then corrupted the files, rendering the data useless. Outside the damages caused by Delta Airlines, Hanni is suing the company to discover just exactly how it obtained her correspondence.

Hanni's suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, says that Delta Airlines used the information to sabotage her efforts to get the bill passed through Congress. The bill, if approved, would force airlines to provide food, water, and access to restrooms and clean air during "long tarmac delays." Passengers would also have the option to leave the plane is the delay lasts over three hours.

Airlines could lose at least $40 million in revenue if Congress passes the bill. Is there a motive there to hack her files? You bet. "