United Airlines depends on internet technology as much any big business — the days of friendly travel agents patiently walking you through route choices are long gone. So back in May, they took advantage of a clever strategy for avoiding the sorts of attacks that make the skies less friendly. They call it the “Bug Bounty Program,” and it pays “white knight” hackers to find the flaws in their system before the bad guys do. Last month, the airline paid two hackers a million “MileagePlus” points each for finding and documenting major flaws related to remote code execution (whatever that is).
A million miles is literally enough to fly to the Moon and back twice, if you don’t mind cramped seats, surly gate agents, $15 snacks, and changing planes in Newark. (Can you imagine flying to the Moon in a middle seat? How much would they charge to check a bag?) But back here on earth, what do our friends at the IRS think of the Bug Bounty program?Continue reading →