The frequent flyer miles are a treasure for cybercriminals
Theft of miles has become a juicy scam . It is characterized by sending phishing messages in bulk with the false promise of more points to frequent flyer program or an award course.
Airlines offer frequent flier programs that allow its members not only earn miles and then redeem them for free tickets, but also can receive numerous benefits before and after their flights. Some of these benefits can be check-in preferential class improvement, and more in your luggage weight allowance, access to exclusive lounges at airports around the world, etc. These advantages make the miles are increasingly coveted, even among cyber criminals and phishers who use them as a form of currency by exchanging stolen credit cards or value sets.
“In Spanish-speaking countries, we have noticed that cyber criminals redeem the miles for devices such as tablets, laptops and other things of high value and then sell them at a price much lower through the black market. This results in a kind of double crime: money laundering and theft of miles, “said Dmitry Bestuzhev, director of research and analysis team for Kaspersky Lab .
Even celebrities or authorities may be subject to this type of theft. Without going any further, a few days ago was revealed a subtraction in a system of miles equivalent to about 11 million, which would have been affected the Chilean presidential candidate of the New Majority, Michelle Bachelet and sisters Diana and Cecilia Bolocco. Cyber criminals know that the more popular a person is, the higher the probability that fly more often and therefore has the greatest number of miles saved. The attacks include sending phishing messages in bulk with the promise of more points to frequent flyer program or awards assumptions. In some attacks the client is asked to re-register at a fake website.
Phishers recorded a lot of malicious domains with names that seem related to the airlines, when in fact they are not. In some attacks are Trojans that modify the host file to redirect the victim to the phishing site, they all ask the customer the registration number for the site of the airline and the corresponding password. These data are sufficient for cyber criminals steal the account and all the miles.
“Phishing attacks against companies are common carriers in the region. The reality is that most companies do not use a dual authentication with clients. A simple phishing attack victims asking your ID and password is enough to steal credentials, allowing cyber criminals to steal the miles, “he added Bestuzhev.
An antivirus equipped with an anti-phishing module is usually enough to block access to these malicious pages. In addition, users should confirm any promotion or prize received from their airline directly calling their call center and so check if the mail you received from the airline really comes from it.