Hackers are trying to steal your vacation. Here’s how to stop them


Hackers are trying to steal your vacation. They’re coming after your personal data, your credit card information and your loyalty points.

Worst of all, they might already have them.

Consider what happened to Jill Frankfort, a teacher from Boston who recently lost 150,000 American Airlines frequent-flyer miles. She didn’t find out about the break-in until months after the crime, when she tried to redeem her miles for an international trip. By then, the miles were long gone and the airline couldn’t help her.

“Travelers are often in a hurry, distracted or on autopilot while traversing public places,” says Mark Ruchie, the chief information security officer for Entrust Datacard. “They don’t notice when unusual activity occurs on their accounts – making them easy targets for hackers.”

Not only that, but the methods hackers use to commit their crimes have evolved as well. Advanced technology and tools that used to be exclusive to governments are now available to the bad guys.

Your miles are on the dark net

For Frankfort, the discovery of her missing miles was devastating. She’d worked hard to earn them, going out of her way to give her business to American Airlines.

“There were transactions for tickets that I did not authorize,” she recalls, including business-class tickets from New Delhi to Doha, Qatar. “I think it’s important for people to know that airlines do not insure frequent-flyer miles from fraudulent usage as credit card companies do with fraudulent charges.”