Alex Hope, an Australian hacker, managed in less than an hour to obtain the passport data and personal phone number of former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
In particular, Hope said on his personal blog (Mango Zone) that he was able to obtain these details of the former Prime Minister of Australia, after the latter published a photo of his boarding pass from the Australian airline "Qantas" in March 2020 at Instagram. The Australian hacker pointed out that he was able to log in to Abbott's online booking page by entering the reference number that appears on the boarding pass. He then obtained Abbott's passport and telephone number, as well as staff comments on requests of the former Prime Minister, using him code HTML of the page.
However, the hacker did not reveal these details, but first informed the Australian government for its act and then the airline on the defect on the page of online which allowed him access to this information. Five months later, the company informed Hope that the defect had been corrected. Hope also contacted Abbott's staff, who informed him that he had learned of the incident and that he was already in the process of obtaining a new passport for the former prime minister.
Abbott himself, who was recently appointed as the UK's official trade consultant, called Hope to discuss the incident, asking for more information on how it happened.
Jake Moore, a cybersecurity expert at ESET, commented on the incident, saying: "Few people are aware of the dangers of photographing seemingly insignificant information, such as airline tickets and publishing them in SOCIAL MEDIA. However, as happened in this case, where the hacker obtained personal data of the former Prime Minister of Australia, it is very easy to violate someone's data. "Many airlines now require information, such as usernames and passwords, to obtain more personal information, but there are still several providers that only require a ticket report from the boarding pass to reveal the most personal information to anyone traveling with them.".
Moore added that at a time when most people are heavily involved with social media and exposing facts and moments from their personal lives, they do not think about the impact that finding their personalities could have on them. data in the wrong hands. Thus, Moore suggested that users receive the necessary training to think carefully before posting their sensitive information in the Internet. Finally, he stressed that information that seems insignificant to the users themselves could be "Missing piece in a hacker puzzle".