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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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U.S. Airline to Award Hackers for Finding Hidden Bugs

United Airlines

(Photo : Wikipedia) One of United Airlines' Boeing 777 Aircraft

United Airlines recently launched a new program called the "Bug Bounty Program" that offers computer security experts and hackers the chance to fly with the airlines for free if they can manage to hack its websites and smartphone apps.

The Bug Bounty Program aims to uncover hidden bugs and security weaknesses within the airline's software systems. This new program will help United Airlines to strengthen its security and enable it to offer excellent service, said the company.

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According to a report, hackers that are interested should be members of United Airlines' MileagePlus in order to qualify for the program.

Although the company is allowing hackers to mess with their software systems, it isn't allowing them to hack onboard aircraft systems.

The move by the airline company comes after it recently banned Chris Roberts, a security researcher who tweeted last month about his ability to hack into one of United's onboard airplane network system.

A United Airlines representative recently said that the airline had decided to ban Roberts from flying in the best interest of its passengers and crew members.

According to another report, Roberts told an FBI agent in an interview last February about his last attempt to take control of an aircraft in which he caused it to move sideways.

The FBI agent added that Roberts was also able to crack the plane's in-flight entertainment system including its networks, where he used a software to monitor traffic from the cockpit system.

With the rise of cyber security threats around the globe, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration had established a new industry working group earlier this year to provide guidance on strengthening aircraft cyber security.

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