Online Sense is ICDL Arabia's philanthropic arm aimed at raising public awareness on Cyber Safety.

Are your air miles safe from Dark Web hackers? To many fliers, the Dark Web is a minefield of hitmen, online drugs markets, forged currency, and porn too dark for the mainstream web. With regards to illicit services, you’d be surprised what you can get, one of the newer arrivals to the Dark Web is air miles.

Air miles are usually received from a loyalty scheme provided by airlines. Mile points are accrued by flying with an airline. The real points are accrued by using the services of an airline. The more one travels, and the longer the distance, the more miles one can accumulate.

This is how it usually works; however, different airlines have their ways of offering points (e.g. in the form of shopping, vacation etc.). These points can be then exchanged for airfare, seating class upgrades or access to luxury airport lounges.

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Experts recently searched the Dark Web and came up with some shocking findings. One can purchase air miles for Delta flights or British Airways, stolen from hacked accounts! For $124 you can get a 100,000 British Airways air miles, for $884 you can buy 100,000 air miles with Emirates Skywards, and for the same price you can get your hands on 45,000 Delta sky miles!

Here’s how this works – criminals hack into a person’s air miles account and ‘gift’ those to another account. The account with stolen air miles is then sold by criminals in two categories – “tainted” or “clean”.

It seems “Clean” accounts are without any evidence of being stolen, and “Tainted” ones are cheaper, but they might get one caught!