One more business has decided that rewarding hackers to find flaws in their computer systems is a wise investment! As you know, a number of software companies offer bug bounties, and some of these can be quite lucrative. Google, for instance, offers a bounty of $150,000 for anyone who can hack their Chrome operating system, and many other companies are offering similar bounties, although, not quite as lucrative.
Now, United Airlines has decided to offer frequent flyer miles to hackers who find flaws in their systems. In recent months, United has had a number of software glitches and decided that this was a better and cheaper way of resolving these problems. In addition, Chris Roberts and other security researchers have demonstrated that it is possible to hack airliner controls while sitting in coach.
Recently, United awarded a MILLION free flyer miles to two hackers who were able to show them flaws in their systems. These two now will be able to fly just about anywhere they want for domestically for quite some time. It has also been reported that United has awarded smaller awards to several other hackers.
Right now, it doesn't appear that the other airlines have made the same offer, but they will, eventually. Furthermore, I expect that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will do the same as they convert all the air traffic control systems to digital systems. The airlines and other companies need well-trained hackers to find the bugs in their systems before the cyber criminals do.
This is one more reason why I say that hacking is THE skill for the future. Far from the old days where hackers sat in their mothers' basements and hacked for the thrill of it, in the 21st century, hackers are finding legal and legitimate employment in cyber warfare, cyber espionage, digital forensics, network security, private investigation, and many other fields.
Keep coming back, my tenderfoot hackers, and refine your skills for THE most sought after skill of the 21st century and you too could be collecting those frequent flyer miles and other bounties!