Security alert: How a travel technology company is grappling with an ethical hacker

Imagine you’re a transaction processor that powers ticketing for several consumer travel websites, and you are contacted by a programmer outside of your company who says there’s a flaw in how your platform interacts with the websites of your vendors.

Thieves could exploit the flaw to skim the credit card details of consumers, says this programmer.

What would you do?

It isn’t entirely an abstract question.

This winter, a North American programmer, or hacker, contacted a major ticketing platform based in the US, alleging that the websites powered by its white-label solution was vulnerable to this type of attack.

The company reacted with alarm. Its affected clients included the consumer websites of minor, but nationally known, brands used mostly by domestic travelers.

If true, a customer’s credit card details would be vulnerable to theft as they were typed into any of the branded websites.

What follows is something of a “he said, she said,” story between the hacker and that ticket processing provider. But of course this is also a cautionary tale for other companies that may be exposed to the same alleged vulnerability — without knowing it. Read more

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By: Sean O’Neill


About hospitalitytechnology

Technology is making greater and greater inroads into our lives. Right from when we wake up in the morning to when we head to sleep – we cannot imagine a life without the gadgets and gizmos that make life easy and interesting. When we travel and stay in hotels, our expectations are no different. We expect all the technological amenities we easily access at home if not more. The hospitality industry in increasingly accessing technology to wow guests, optimize their use of manpower, control hotel functions in an integrated manner and on the whole reduce costs while increasing efficiency. This blog is meant to track these technological changes happening in the hospitality sector. The growing move towards sophisticated hotel ERP, the growing use of cloud computing, the rapidly changing customer facing devices – smart phones and iPads, the increasing security concerns and more. Expect to find interesting articles, whitepapers, thoughts, and observations. Feel free to comment and even mail us content that you don’t mind posted here. Happy reading!
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