In May 2015, United Airlines announced that the company will introduce a program which is intended to improve its web security. United will reward miles to hackers who assist in discovering bugs in the airline’s web security systems. However, the catch is, you will need to privately disclose this to the company without having it leak online in order to be eligible for the award. Additionally, you will not be able to reveal the security faults after you have been rewarded.
Rewards can range up to a maximum of one million miles based on how destructive the flaw was against the airline company. This morning, United Airlines revealed that it has awarded millions of MileagePlus miles since the introduction of the program to hackers who have helped find vulnerabilities in their security system.
This has been a very smart move from United Airlines with intent to bring healthy enemies onto their side while fending off the malevolent ones through a stronger and more powerful web security network.
The program inputted by United Airlines sounds very attractive and it looks like it has worked for one hacker. Jordan Wiens tweeted that he had received one million MileagePlus awards for identifying a fault in the system.
According to Jordan’s twitter feed, you will not know the severity of the bug until you have received your rewards from United Airlines. But hey, any miles received for free is better than having to purchase them. This is an incredibly intelligent move made by United Airlines (although unforeseen) as they are also encouraging positive ethical standards from potential hackers, at the same time, creating a more secured system for its clients. I would love to see other airline companies doing the same.