Internet Security

It’s time to publicly shame United Airlines’ so-called online security (2016)

Jon Evans Contributor Jon Evans is the CTO of the engineering consultancy HappyFunCorp; the award-winning author of six novels, one graphic novel, and a book of travel writing; and TechCrunch’s weekend columnist since 2010. More posts by this contributor Where did social media go wrong? Welcome to the hub of all hubs: Cosmos has launched…


Dear executives of United Airlines, I have some advice for you. 1: Fire whoever is in charge of your online security. 2: Burn down the building in which they worked; it may be tainted. 3: Salt the ground so nothing ever grows there again, to be safe. 4: Hire somebody competent who will not infuriate your users while simultaneously compromising their security.

I know I probably sound like a disgruntled passenger who just had an unpleasant airline experience. Not so! I am actually fond of United, have flown hundreds of thousands of miles with them, and have upper-tier status with them. But I’m also an engineer who writes about security.

It was bad enough when they replaced their free-form password security questions withdrop-down selections— I am not making this up — for “Your favorite artist,” “Your favorite pizza topping,” etc

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