Have you ever wondered how secure the global airline system is? Every time I check in, I wonder how easy it would be to meddle with almost anyone's travel plans. A simplistic 6 character reservation code along with a last name is all that is needed to be able to access any travel reservation on any airline website. I often see discarded or lost boarding passes on the floor in airports, and they provide all the necessary information to access the reservation. This seems somewhat risky and open to all sorts of social engineering. It may not classify as sophisticated hacking, however it can cause chaos, as reported at this year’s Chaos Communication Congress hacker convention in Hamburg.
The worldwide system used to coordinate travel bookings between airlines, travel agents, and price comparison websites is hopelessly insecure, according to researchers. The lack of modern security features, both in the design of the system itself and of the many sites and services that control access to it, makes it easy for an attacker to harvest personal information from bookings, steal flights by altering ticketing details, or earn millions of air miles by attaching new frequent-flyer numbers to pre-booked flights, according to German security firm SR Labs.