Eek! United Airlines scrambles after cockpit codes are accidentally published online

As if United Airlines didn’t have enough problems, the carrier is having to change the keypad codes used to access cockpits after the previous passwords were exposed on a website.

The airline sent a memo to pilots over the weekend telling them to use "alternative security measures," a spokeswoman told the Chicago Tribune.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the snafu, the airline had to scramble to make the changes after a flight attendant posted the information online by accident.

The airline sent a memo to pilots over the weekend telling them to use "alternative security measures," a spokeswoman, Maddie King, told the Tribune.

“We are working to change the codes on all of our aircraft," she added, saying that the breach did not cause any flights to be delayed or canceled.

In a statement, the Chicago-based airline said it uses "a number of measures" in addition to the access codes to keep cockpits secure. She declined to give details, citing security concerns.

But according to the Journal report, the airline also requires pilots to visually verify a person's identity before granting access to the cockpit.

In a statement to the Business Insider website, United said an interim “protocol ensures our cockpits remain secure. We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible."

Rusty Aimer, a retired United pilot who is now an aviation consultant, told the Tribune that the codes "should not create a big security concern."

Cockpit doors were strengthened and made accessible by codes in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

This latest problem comes in the wake of several incidents that have embarrassed the airline, including the videoed April dragging of a 69-year-old doctor from a plane and the death later in the month of a giant rabbit that had been flown from England to Chicago.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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