United Airlines has initiated a reward scheme for security buffs who can detect bugs in the company’s security systems. The scheme offers the potential to win up to one million air miles depending on the seriousness of the find, but does not cover software used on board the aircraft.
Other organisations have rewarded experts who can detect security issues for sometime but these tend to be technology firms. This is the first airline to take such a step and may be linked to a recent warning from the US Government about airline vulnerability.
United have given details about the type of detection which will attract a reward and said that participants must already be members of its air miles scheme in order to benefit. The airline seems wise to those that might try to launch an attack on live systems and said they would be disqualified and may face legal action.
The move has received a positive reception from industry commentators who see it as a way of bringing onside tech experts who are prepared to use their skills to challenge unethical hackers and comes just weeks after a security expert was banned from one of its flights for making a joke tweet about hacking the on board systems.