Swiss hacker from Lucerne hacks US no-fly list out of boredom

Swiss hacker from Lucerne hacks US no-fly list out of boredom

A 23-year-old hacker from Lucerne has caused chaos for the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after hacking the country’s no-fly list. The hacker from Switzerland carried out the attack last Friday, claiming afterwards that she did it because she was “bored.” 

Swiss hacker faces US arrest warrant 

The hacker in question is 23-year-old Tillie Kottmann from Lucerne - who goes by the pseudonym Maia Arson Crimew, or just Crimew for short. Kottmann accessed the no-fly list while perusing data on an unsecured computer server last week. Through the vulnerable system, the hacker was able to gain access to a list which details information on 1,5 million known or suspected terrorists that are forbidden from flying. 

Kottman is no stranger to legal troubles with the US authorities. The hacker is already suspected of being behind a huge hack in the US in 2021, where more than 150.000 surveillance cameras belonging to the company Verkada were hacked. 

US congress could take action against Swiss woman

Tillie Kottmann gives an interesting defence for her actions: she believes it is important to go outside the limits of what is legal in order to test for security vulnerabilities. Regarding her most recent hack of the no-fly list, Kottman wrote on her blog that she cracked the list simply because she was bored. 

The explanation has done little to calm the US administration, though. Discussions are ongoing regarding how to handle Kottmann’s findings. In her blog post, Kottmann revealed that the no-fly list containing information about 1,5 million terrorists and suspected terrorists is publicly available. It is now down to the US congress to decide how to deal with the breach.

Image: / Jim Lambert

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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