VThough some would be quick to debate it, it’s clear airlines these days are trying their best to make air travel more convenient for their passengers. For example, in recent years, almost every carrier has added QR codes to both their customers’ paper and e-tickets.
This was originally done in order to speed up the check-in process and allow for the flier to better confirm any changes in flight schedules, but the convenience has brought with it a whole new type of cybercrime.
It turns out that pretty much anyone who has access to the QR code on either your paper or e-ticket—even for just a second—can end up getting your first and last name, flight number, seat number, and frequent flier information.
“Big deal”, you might say. “What isn’t private anymore, anyways?” Though it’s true that, on the surface, this information doesn’t seem too vulnerable, the truth is that, once they have these key pieces, hackers are actually able to log-in as “you” on most airline websites.
From there, they can see your flight history – including upcoming flights – they can cancel any existing reservations, and even worse, may end up getting access to your credit card information.
It’s a frightening reality, considering that a person could not only put your financial future in jeopardy, they could also harm you physically, if they were so inclined. Think about it: an unhinged stranger sees someone throwing their boarding pass away in an airport terminal, and all of a sudden they know intimate details about the person. Very scary stuff!
How can a QR code reveal personal information?
Believe it or not, there are actually dozens upon dozens of barcode scanning apps available at little or no cost. And, to be clear, just because a smart phone user has one of these apps on their phone doesn’t mean that they are doing anything shady.
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