Hacker Claims to Have Found a Way to Exploit Passbook App to Fly for Free

Passbook hack can be exploited to get free flights

At the Hack in the Box (HITB) security conference that’s taking place at the end of May in Amsterdam, Greek security researcher Anthony Hariton will demonstrate how the iOS app Passbook can be exploited for free air travel.

Passbook is an application that allows users to store coupons, event tickets, store cards and boarding passes.

Hariton claims to have found a way to easily generate a boarding pass on Passbook and get past all security checks at an airport. All it takes is a smartphone and a computer.

“We will be using tools available to everyone to forge passes and look into methods of getting in the Security Restricted Area and even more importantly into the flight we desire,” reads the abstract of his presentation.

In addition to software, some social engineering is also employed in the expert’s method to bypass the screening process at airports.

Representatives of the International Air Transport Association have told IT News that they’re skeptical that Hariton’s “hack” works, arguing that airports have all sorts of processes in place to prevent passengers without valid tickets from boarding an airplane.

On the other hand, Hariton appears to be pretty confident in his methods. I guess we’ll find out more at Hack in the Box. Abstracts and pre-presentation reports are often misleading.

For instance, last year at Hack in the Box Amsterdam, after Hugo Teso’s presentation, many thought that you could hack an airplane from the ground with just a smartphone. Of course, that’s not true, but those who didn’t understand the technical details of Teso’s presentation jumped to conclusions.


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