Stolen credentials used to access United Airlines' MileagePlus accounts

The login credentials came from an unidentified third party

Login credentials from a third party were used to fraudulently access about three dozen MileagePlus accounts, which is United Airlines' loyalty rewards program.

Login credentials from a third party were used to fraudulently access about three dozen MileagePlus accounts, which is United Airlines' loyalty rewards program.

Three dozen loyalty accounts belonging to United Airlines customers saw fraudulent transactions after hackers used login credentials collected from an unknown source.

The Mileage Plus accounts, which are part of United's rewards program, were accessed early last month, said Luke Punzenberger, a United spokesman, on Sunday. The program has about 95 million participants.

Punzenberger said the accounts were accessed using login credentials that came from a third party. He did not have specific information on how the airline determined that.

The login credentials were not obtained as a result of a data breach at United, Punzenberger said. He added that United was not the only company that saw attempts to access accounts using the login credentials.

The accounts were temporarily suspended pending verification by affected customers. United said in an advisory that Mileage Plus numbers, account balances and Premier status were exposed and possibly mailing addresses.

The last four digits of a credit card number may have been exposed if a customer had a card number included in their Mileage Plus profile, United said. The rest of the digits are masked.

Loyalty card programs for the travel industry have been increasingly targeted by hackers, as compromised accounts are easy to cash out. United's MileagePlus program lets customers use accumulated miles for air travel, rental cars, dining and shopping.

The incident was reported last week to California's Office of the Attorney General. California law requires organizations to notify residents if unencrypted personal information may have been acquired by an unauthorized person.

Hackers often try to see if login credentials stolen from one Web service will work on another one. For this reason, security experts recommend that people do not re-use passwords, although that mistake is often made.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags United Airlines

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?