Hackers who are believed to have Chinese links have reportedly waged a cyberattack on American Airlines Group Inc. and Sabre Corp.

The cybercriminals allegedly targeted the computer systems of both Sabre - a travel reservation processor for several airlines and hotels - and American Airlines.

The information comes courtesy of publication Bloomberg whose sources have let on that the hackers who are responsible for paralyzing the U.S.' air-travel system, are the same ones who ploughed through the data of health insurer Anthem Inc. and were also responsible for stealing the personnel records of intelligence and military in the country.

Sabre has acknowledged the security breach but divulged that it does not know the extent of the damage caused owing to the attack.

"We recently learned of a cyber-security incident. At this time, we are not aware that this incident has compromised sensitive protected information, such as credit card data or personally identifiable information, but our investigation is ongoing," noted Sabre.

Casey Norton a spokesperson for American Airlines, which has the distinction of being the biggest carrier in the world, revealed that the airlines is investigating into the matter as to whether hackers compromised its systems. Currently, there is no proof to suggest that its data was compromised in a similar manner to that of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Norton also let on that American Airlines had beefed up security further and got additional security experts on board to not only secure its systems, but also probe the matter. The company was doing this not because of the current incident, but due to frequency of attacks of the nature in their industry.

For those wondering what the hackers will do with the data, they could use it for create the profiles of contractors and officials from the U.S., which could in turn be deployed by a foreign government to blackmail these individuals to share intelligence information. Moreover, this data could also be used to trace the travel patterns of officials or personnel to monitor intelligence or military operations.

The current incident, is the biggest attack on the travel industry in the U.S. and comes to light barely a week after a similar attack was waged on United Airlines.

Photo: Aero Icarus | Flickr

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