Online Hacking Victim Warns of Attack on Airline Miles

Updated: 11/24/2013 8:33 PM By: Nick Winkler

Barbara Shaw, a frequent flyer, says after returning from an 11-day trip to Europe she decided to check her airline miles account to make sure it had been credited appropriately.

Instead of seeing her true balance, Shaw noticed more than 250,000 airline miles had been withdrawn from her account while she was out of the country.

The miles were converted into gift cards, mailed to an address in Georgia, and signed for by someone posing as Shaw. 

After speaking with airline fraud investigators Shaw learned hackers likely gained her account log in information when she used a hotel Wi-Fi network to check in for an unrelated flight a month prior to her European vacation.

The attack is similar to a relatively new type of middle man Wi-Fi attack we warned of last week.

It involves a device hackers can use to masquerade as a trusted Wi-Fi network, trick your device into connecting, and intercept usernames and passwords.