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Transportation Security

Hacker Holds Key To Free Flights 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the TSA-bans-cell-phones-and-sitting-down-in-response dept.
mask.of.sanity writes: "A security researcher says he has developed a method to score free flights across Europe by generating fake boarding passes designed for Apple's Passbook app. The 18-year-old computer science undergrad didn't reveal the 'bypass' which gets the holder of the fraudulent ticket past the last scanner and onto the jetway; he's saving that for his talk at Hack in the Box in Amsterdam next month."
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Hacker Holds Key To Free Flights

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  • Re:Okay, but... (Score:5, Informative)

    by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Friday April 04, 2014 @09:03AM (#46660011) Homepage

    Board near the end of the boarding time and take a free center seat near the back -unless then plane is 100% full, you're golden.

    Except for the annoying habbit flight attendants have of counting the number of passengers.

  • Re:Okay, but... (Score:5, Informative)

    by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Friday April 04, 2014 @10:16AM (#46660525) Homepage

    They count the number of passengers who got on.

    The number of passengers with tickets is usually higher.

    They don't compare the count to the number of tickets. They compare it to the number of people known to be getting on the flight, presumably these days from the number who've been scanned through security (in my airside days it was the number that had checked in at the desk, since this was before online check-in).

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Friday April 04, 2014 @10:24AM (#46660609)

    Lately, when I checkin for a flight, the software in the ticket scanner checks to see if the seat has already been scanned. If it has, it'll beep, if not then it marks it as now allocated.

    The gate agents also have access to electronic versions of the passenger manifest, and newer systems even display the names of passengers that are not yet checked in/on board/awaiting seat assignment next to a seatmap of the aircraft so they can be literally dragged and dropped to assign seats. If the boarding pass fails to scan, the first thing the gate agent will notice, either by looking at the list or manually typing in the passengers name, is that no one with that name is booked on the flight, either as a paying passenger or on standby. The name would have to match up with a person assigned to the flight, otherwise they will not let you on.

  • Bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

    by aepervius (535155) on Friday April 04, 2014 @11:11AM (#46661039)
    All the CKI system i know of, count the pax boarded against the pax list in the CKI system. If they find a discrepancy, they check the one in addition and ask to check the ticket. Good luck making your explaining.

    The bottom line was that the secure (relatively) thing is not the boarding pass but the ticket. Now if you could free ticket i would be downright impressed. Free boarding pass have long been known to be insecure. They are not there to be secure but to count boarded pax on the system against real boarded on plane, to be able to remove the one which are No-Show and remove their baggage.

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