United Airlines has unveiled a plan to strengthen its security by tapping into the talents of aspiring hackers.
The airline’s new “bug bounty program” offers free frequent flier miles to anyone who can hack into the company’s website, mobile apps or online portals.
According to United, the program allows “independent researchers to discover and report issues that affect the confidentiality, integrity and/or availability of customer or company information and rewards them for being the first to discover a bug.”
The challenge comes on the heels of reports a security researcher detected vulnerabilities in United’s Wi-Fi and entertainment networks of certain Boeing and Airbus plans. (The program will not reward would-be hackers who attempt to expose flaws in these areas.)
United claims the program is the first of its kind in the airline industry.
With the new hacker initiative, United Airlines joins a growing number of tech companies including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft that welcome friendly hackers. These companies believe that they can reduce data breaches by rewarding members of the public who find security holes in their technology that may have escaped the eyes of their in-house staff.
The program offers the successful hacker some decent mileage. Mileage awards range from 50,000 miles for cross site scripting to up to 1 million miles for remote code execution.
With summer vacations on the horizon, the program may gain altitude.
Ready? On your mark, get set … hack!
This story, "United Airlines would like you to hack its network (but in a friendly, helpful way)" was originally published by Fritterati.