Last updated: 01:01 PM ET, Thu July 16 2015

United Pays Out Online Security 'Bug Bounty'

Airlines & Airports | United Airlines | Rich Thomaselli | July 16, 2015

United Pays Out Online Security 'Bug Bounty'

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United Airlines wasn’t kidding around with its Bug Bounty Program.

The carrier offered to give 1 million frequent flier miles to anyone who exposed a serious security flaw in its online system, serious enough that a bug could have impacted the airline’s ability to operate.

True to its word, techtimes.com reported that the airline ponied up the 1 million miles to Jordan Wiens, who discovered a security breach in its website.

Part of the agreement is to not disclose the bug – obviously – and Wiens is actually the second person to receive the million-mile bonus, according to Reuters News Service.

If flying domestically and in coach, the 1 million frequent flier miles are worth almost 40 round trips.

Wiens tweeted last week that the flaw he found could have allowed unethical hackers to control one of the airline's websites.

"It’s really interesting that United did what they did," he told Reuters. "There actually aren’t that many companies in any industry outside of technology that do bug bounties.”

"We are committed to protecting our customers' privacy and the personal data we receive from them, which is why we are offering a bug bounty program – the first of its kind within the airline industry," United said on its website. "We believe that this program will further bolster our security and allow us to continue to provide excellent service."

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