Your Boarding Pass – Personal Data at Risk
Recently, friend of Firestorm Jeremy Gilbert of Dixon Hughes Goodman (DHG) discussed protecting personal identity with Charleston, SC Live5 News. DHG is one of the top 20 accounting firms in the nation.
Jeremy, a Master Analyst in Financial Forensics serves as Manager of the Digital Forensics lab in DHG’s Charleston, South Carolina office.
The article explores the warning of a lesser-known way cyber thieves can steal from you – a used airline boarding pass.
“It takes only few taps on the computer screen, and the airline kiosk will spit out your boarding pass if you haven’t printed it at home. Katie Crosby recently printed a pass at the Charleston International Airport that will get her through security and into her seat on the plane. After her flight, Crosby said she planned to toss it in the trash can at the airport.”
“One of the passes was clearly for a first class ticket, which would be a high dollar target for an identity thief,” Gilbert said, “and it shows the passenger has more than average miles with “Sapphire” privileges.”
“You can’t get a social security number from the boarding pass, but it gives you a lot of other information,” Gilbert said. “It gives you a jumping off point to go down that road and steal someone’s identity.”
Jeremy goes on to demonstrate with a bar code scanner that the bar-code on a boarding pass reveals a frequent flier number. Airlines and the TSA use the bar-codes, and according to the International Air Transport Association, they can be accessed from anywhere, even a mobile phone. Bottom line, Gilbert said, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself.