Blog with Rob:Combating today’s challenges with tomorrow’s solutions
I recently read an article I found quite interesting. We’ve all heard of the big hacks of the last few years – Target, Home Depot and now even the IRS. In an innovative way to get ahead of the curve, United Airlines is ASKING people to hack their network. Biggest perk for hacking? Fly free!
Intrigued? Well on its website, United Airlines lists the types of threats that are eligible for submission into its so-called “bug bounty program“, including finding bugs on customer facing websites, flaws in the United app, and attacks that compromise the private credentials of users. Worried about someone hacking into a flight mid-air? The airlines said that bugs found on “onboard Wi-Fi, entertainment systems or avionics” were not eligible for submission. Whew.
So how many air miles are we talking? A lot. The reward for uncovering a medium severity bug is 250,000 air miles, and people who discover low level bugs will receive 50,000 air miles. The maximum amount of air miles that can be collected – a cool million. That’s a lot of flights.
An NBC news article recently cited a research studying stating that the cost of data breaches is likely to hit $2.1 trillion globally by 2019, four times the 2015 figure, a staggering cost. I have to say I’m impressed with the inventive way that United approached a potentially huge problem. It’s a pretty forward-thinking solution for a big company. Now let’s see if it works.