Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Here's a perfect example of why your website needs to be secure. (Thanks for the $50 round trip tickets to Dublin, Ireland, United Airlines).

For the second time in about a month, a malfunction on United Airlines' Web site is letting customers buy tickets dirt cheap. Passengers can take advantage of the error by setting up a "MileagePlus" account and tricking the site into getting them a ticket with frequent-flyer miles they don't have.

We were able to reserve a roundtrip ticket from Boston, MA, to Dublin, Ireland for less than $50, which covers the cost of taxes and fees. If you're interested in taking this extremely discounted flight (or others), book quick; as of now the loophole is still open.

This isn't the first time United has experienced Web site errors to its detriment. In September, for about a one-hour period, the airline priced tons of tickets at $0. Some users reported booking multiple tickets, including Washington, DC to Honolulu and San Francisco to Newark, NJ, for nothing.

In the September glitch, the problem was reportedly because of a programming error. After United noticed the fire sale, it stopped all online booking for at least an hour. The airline said it would honor the tickets sold during that time. But users who were able to take advantage of Monday's malfunction aren't so lucky.

A United spokesperson stated the airline "will not honor these reservations" because they have "identified an issue where customers are intentionally manipulating our Web site." Welcome to the 21st century, United. Ever think it could also be partially your fault? Maybe you should think about upgrading your security?

Similarly, in July of last year, United canceled a group of tickets after some website users were able to book tickets between the United States and Hong Kong for four frequent-flyer miles and up to $43 in fees. Normally, it takes at least 65,000 miles for a round-trip ticket to Hong Kong in economy class.

If the United website is this poor with security, I can imagine how poorly guarded my credit card information is! Looks like they need a professional IT security company...funny, we happen to know of a great one :)

IES, Inc.

*Legal disclaimer: IES is not promoting illegal or irresponsible activity. We will not take responsibility for you booking a ticket to anywhere your heart desires at a dirt cheap price. However, should you choose to take advantage of the booking website, we certainly wouldn't blame you. IES is simply providing information on the importance of securing a company's website in the technologically driven 21st century.

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