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Hackers steal frequent-flyer miles worth Rs 1.6 million from Air India

Your frequent-flyer miles may be more valuable than you think. Unidentified hackers broke into at least 20 accounts in Air India's frequent-flyer programme and redeemed miles worth Rs 1.6 million ($23,745).

A Star Alliance member, Air India has 195,000 accounts in its frequent-flyer programme, but the full extent of the hack is still not known. Delhi Police, which is currently investigating the case, said that the hackers created 20 email IDs to divert the reward points earned by passengers. It is now tracking the people whose tickets have been booked using the stolen flyer miles to find the culprits. 

Many of the tickets were purchased using invalid ID proof and under the same signature, which has led the police to suspect a nexus between former Air India employees who knew about the loopholes in the system and approved the tickets, a travel agency, as well as the hackers. The airlines has deactivated the hacked accounts and suspended the suspicious IDs.

for booking international hotel stays and renting fancy cars, using stolen flyer miles worth $260,000 from American 

Air India isn't the only airlines to have been targetted by hackers. In 2015, was affected by a large-scale hack. A few months ago, a young computer programmer from Miami was Airlines

Some airlines have however realised the danger. In 2014, hackers booked free trips and upgrades using stolen customer usernames and passwords from American Airlines and United Airlines frequent flyer programmes. Six months later, United Airlines awarded two ethical hackers for finding security loopholes in its system under its bug bounty programme. Their reward? A million frequent-flyer miles each.

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