Belgian traveled free after hijacking the websites of several airlines

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A young Belgian was found guilty of computer sabotage after illegally taking a Brussels Airlines flight to New York in business class with his friends, reports La Libre Belgique.

The criminal court in Mechelen, Belgium, Monday, March 30, found a 25-year-old man guilty of computer sabotage in order to make a round trip to New York in business class with two friends in 2016, by hacking the system of ticket office of Brussels Airlines, reports La Libre Belgique.

“The man bought several tickets via a special application only for employees, canceled them to get his money back, but then manipulated the URL of the ticket to be able to use it. In addition, he managed to book three business class tickets for a flight to New York, or nearly 6,000 euros per ticket, “said prosecutor Karel Berteloot, quoted by RTBF.

The man will not be given an additional sentence, according to the daily. The prosecution had proposed an absorption of the sentence in previous convictions, with conditions of probation.
Brussels Airlines, which asked for 20,000 euros in damages, the cost of the three tickets to New York, some airport taxes for canceled tickets and 1,000 euros in additional fees, received only 12,000, notes La Libre Belgique.
The defendant’s defense insisted that the latter had acted out of a passion for computers.

“No new facts have been committed, they go back to the past. The conditions of probation have always been met, the man now has a temporary job with the possibility of obtaining an indefinite contract, “said master Sven Mertens, whose remarks were broadcast by RTBF.

In addition, he has since helped Brussels Airlines to strengthen the security of its online ticket sales site.

Other hacked airlines

According to La Libre Belgique, the defendant had previously hacked the ticketing systems of Lufthansa, Thalys, Mobistar and Proximus.

The courts in Mechelen and Brussels had already granted him a probationary suspension in 2017.

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