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Almost half of the fight travellers around the world were found exposed to a critical security vulnerability discovered in online flight ticket booking system that allowed remote hackers to access and modify their travel details and even claim their frequent flyer miles.

Israeli network security researcher Noam Rotem discovered the vulnerability when he booked a flight on the Israeli airline ELAL, successful exploitation of which just required victim’s PNR (Passenger Name Record) number.

The vulnerability resided in the widely used online flight booking system developed by Amadeus, which is currently being used by nearly 141 international airlines, including United Airlines, Lufthansa and Air Canada.

After booking a flight with ELAL, the traveler receives a PNR number and a unique link that allows customers to check their booking status and related information associated with that PNR.

Rotem found that merely by changing the value of the “RULE_SOURCE_1_ID” parameter on that link to someone else’s PNR number would display personal and booking-related information from the account associated with that customer.

images from Hacker News