Skip to main content

Thieves hack American and United accounts, book free flights

” id=”attachment_671106″]kentucky hospital subjected to ransomware hacker keyboard
Cybercriminals armed with usernames and passwords broke into customer accounts at American and United airlines, with some going so far as to book free flights and seat upgrades.

Affected customers were notified by email on Monday, though the hack apparently took place some time last month.

Related Videos

A spokesperson for United told the Associated Press that since early December around 35 MileagePlus accounts had seen activity involving fraudulently booked trips or mileage transactions.

American appears to have been hit harder by the hack, however, with around 10,000 accounts affected. Despite this, up to now it said it’s only aware of a couple of cases where a flight or upgrade was booked without the account holder knowing. The carrier promised to cover the cost of a credit-watch service for affected customers for a period of 12 months.

Both airlines were at pains to point out that their respective computer systems had not been breached and credit card numbers had not been exposed, but added that it was possible information in a user’s account profile, such as a customer’s mailing address, could have been viewed.

It’s assumed the criminals obtained the account information from sources outside of the airlines’ systems, though at this stage the thieves’ method of operation isn’t clear.

While the airlines will certainly have been embarrassed by the incident, at this stage it looks as if the damage has been minimal. However, customers with the carriers will no doubt be seeking assurances that their personal data is indeed safe and that the airlines are doing what they can to ensure they have the right defenses in place should hackers try to dig a little deeper next time around.

Editors' Recommendations

PowerPoint will use ChatGPT to create entire slideshows for you
Microsoft Copilot creating a PowerPoint presentation for a user.

Microsoft has revealed its thoughts on how artificial intelligence (AI) could shape how we work in the years to come -- and how it plans to help guide those changes. The announcement was made by Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Jared Spataro at a company event titled The Future of Work with AI.

As the name suggests, the show was focused on how artificial intelligence (AI) could affect how we work, both now and in the future. More specifically, the tech giant discussed how it will add AI smarts into its suite of Office apps.

Read more
Firefox just got a great new way to protect your privacy
Canva in Firefox on a MacBook.

If you’re fed up with signing up for new accounts online and then being perpetually spammed in the days and weeks after, Mozilla has an idea that could help. The company has just announced its Firefox Relay feature is being directly integrated into its Firefox web browser, and it could help guarantee your privacy without any extra hassle.

Firefox Relay works by letting you create email “masks” when you sign up for new accounts. Instead of entering your real credentials into the sign-up field, Firefox Relay provides you with a throwaway address and phone number to use. Any messages from the website -- such as purchase receipts -- are then forwarded to your real email address, with all the sender’s tracking information stripped out to protect your privacy.

Read more
Microsoft’s Bing Chat waitlist is gone — how to sign up now
Microsoft Edge browser showing Bing Chat on an iPhone.

It appears Microsoft is doing away with the long Bing Chat waitlist. As originally reported by Windows Central, new users who sign up for the waitlist are immediately given access to the AI chatbot, without having to wait, and Digital Trends has confirmed this to be the case.

Microsoft hasn't officially killed the waitlist, but it should go away in short order. On Tuesday, Microsoft bolstered OpenAI's launch of the GPT-4 model by confirming that it was the model behind Bing Chat. Microsoft is also set to host an AI-focused event on Thursday, where we expect to hear about AI integrations in Microsoft's Office apps like Word and PowerPoint. It's possible Microsoft could remove the waitlist during the presentation.

Read more