A man hacked the Brussels Airlines website and flew for free to New York with two friends in Business class

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Belgian news agency Belga reports that a 25-year-old man appeared Monday before the Mechelen Criminal Court for computer sabotage.

The defendant hacked an online ticketing system of Brussels Airlines in order to fly for free to New York with two friends. The airline has brought a civil action and is claiming around 20,000 euros in compensation.

The facts date back to autumn 2016. “The man bought several tickets via a special application available only to the airline’s employees, cancelled them in order to get his money back, but then manipulated the URL of the ticket to be able to use it,” said the prosecutor. “In addition, he managed to book three business class tickets for a flight to New York, at nearly 6,000 euros per ticket.

Brussels Airlines, which has brought a civil action, claims 20,000 euros in compensation. “We are asking for the cost of the three business tickets to New York, some airport taxes for the cancelled tickets and 1,000 euros in additional fees that we had paid to secure the systems,” said their attorney.

The lawyer for the accused, however, requested that the latter amount be dismissed because the man shared his knowledge of the weaknesses of the computer system.

The judgment is expected on March 30.

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