Posted on September 24, 2018 at 12:11 PM
As it is currently, there may be nothing left hidden to the searching eyes of malicious hackers anymore, no thanks to Dark Web. The platform provides the avenue for hackers to get data from people illegally and by such, perpetuate their criminal activity.
Dark Web and Flyer Miles
CompariTech researchers have lately found out that the Dark Web is now a haven for the sale of flyer miles as opposed to illegal drugs and goods that it was earlier known for.
To this extent, hackers can frequently buy flyer miles from their marketplace. The nature of these miles is such that it is unique to a user. The holder receives it upon flying consistently with an airline. It can equally be redeemed for future trips.
Among several other benefits, using flyer miles gives the holder the benefits of enjoying some discounts and sometimes, free travel.
It equally allows users to have access to airport lounges usually tagged exclusive. With the flyer miles also, travelers can upgrade to either business class or first class at a hugely discounted price.
Flyer Miles Now for Sale
Amazingly, researchers from CompariTech have found out lists of frequent flyer miles which hackers and cybercriminals are making available for sale.
As a result of lax policies on the part of airline operators, CompariTech researchers say that such a private information may have become a profit-making item in the hands of cybercriminals.
And as expected, these compromised flyer points are way cheaper when compared to if it were to be earned legitimately. Investigations have revealed that just one batch of such stolen flyer points goes for just $31. Besides that, researchers can affirm that a lot of such flyer points are available for sale.
In the explanation of Paul Bischoff who is a privacy advocate for CompariTech, many companies including Emirates, Alaska Air, British Airways, Delta Air, and others use air miles.
How Air Miles Are Stolen
The two main ways hackers steal air mines are either through airline faults in data transfer or the outright hijacking of customers’ account by the hackers. Once such air mines have been fraudulently received by the cybercriminals, they immediately redeem it or transfer it to another legitimate account.
For the purchase of these stolen air miles, hackers do ask to be paid in either Monero or Bitcoin. According to the reports, such listings are displayed as Clean. This means that they have not been blocked by the issuing airlines. They can also be listed as Tainted which, of course, means that points from such listings are not transferable or claimable.
All that is required by hackers to steal air miles are usernames and password of legitimate owners with the airline’s PIN. And strangely, all of these are made available for sale via the Dark Web.
For this purpose, frequent travelers that have flyer and miles points may need to constantly check up their accounts to be sure their points have not been stolen.