This is screaming “Catch Me If You Can”. You know, the one where Leonardo DiCaprio is a check forging deviant and ends up working for the good guys and making a fortune because he’s too brilliant to lock away? This is “travel hacking” for actual computer hackers where you turn devious skills into first class tickets. Rather than be a lamb for slaughter, United Airlines has decided to offer rewards to those most likely to attack their IT vulernabilities, up to 1,000,000 miles at a time for exposing threats!
Per Gary Leff (my personal favorite blogger), United is offering up to 1,000,000 miles to hackers who make light of security/IT flaws in their “Bug Bounty” program. The most basic rewards start at 50,000 miles for low security issues, moving directly up to 250,000 miles for medium security threats and 1,000,000 miles for high risk concerns! If you are a computer wizard or know one, get on there! 50,000 miles is enough for a great business class ticket, 250,000 miles is enough for you and your “partner in crime” to grab some flat beds to another continent, and a MILLION miles would let you do all the above a few times!
I love it all. United turns enemies into friends, hackers turn hobbies into first class seats and we sit back and grab the popcorn. This could be brilliant and I think other airlines would be foolish not to employ similar safeguards. Miles cost airlines very little, data breaches and security flaws cost millions, even billions. I’m now wishing I paid more attention in computer science class. Go get em’!
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