Cyber Security experts believe that hackers can tamper Airline Bookings


Cyber Security Experts have warned that hackers can tamper airline bookings, making flyers land on a wrong plane during their festive break. Furthermore, the cyber criminals can also transfer an air flyer to a wrong plane making him/her reach a wrong destination.

Hackers try these kinds of tricks to create chaos for tourists going on a holiday and to put people on planes they wanted to target. This could prove as a serious threat to airlines that have high profile customers as flyers.

In a research carried out by Security Research Labs, it was identified that hackers changed the flight bookings of a German TV Journalist and put him on a different flight in a seat next to a German politician. This was due to the decades-old computer systems used by certain airlines.

Karsten Nohl, the founder of Security Research Labs said that hackers can use sophisticated tools to break the six-letter flight confirmation code consisting only capital letters. This is possible when the cyber crooks sieve through millions of possibilities for the code to find the right one in just 2 minutes. The code can give access to the database of the airlines, the customer’s full name, his/her credit card details and even vital info such as passport details.

In general, most of the airlines lack security features in their booking systems. Well, modern day computer systems and networks have the ability to limit the number of attempts a person could make at guessing a code. But most of the airlines still have the decades old computers and software operating as servers making them vulnerable to hackers.

Security Research Labs has also confirmed that the same flaw could also put the car rental industry at risk of cyber attacks. As the same six-digital confirmation code vulnerability exists in the database networks of prominent car rental companies such as Uber, Ola, Orange and such…

Hackers can also use this data to keep a track of a person’s traveling calendar in a month or a whole year. They could also alter the flying miles which are usually gifted by airlines to their frequent flyers.

What’s more astonishing is that hackers can also play with the plane’s systems through the electronic box fixed under each passenger’s seat. All they need is a passenger, who could switch on his Pc, connect a cable to the box and play.

The exit doors can be controlled by doing so and who knows in future this could also become a gateway for hijackers who try to influence a flight destination course.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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