Security research Ophir Harpaz was trying to book a flight using Onetravel; as she browsed available itineraries, she couldn't help but notice a prominent warning that "39 people are looking at this flight" (this is a cheap gimmick, one of the many "dark patterns" that once lured naive internet users to making rash decisions, but whose efficacy has since regressed to the mean).
Being a security researcher Harpaz started taking apart the web-page to see what was going on with this little dark-pattern widget. Her first clue that something was up was the name of the element's class: view_notification_random.
A little look in the page's associated scripts revealed that the widget just picked a random number between 28 and 45 and warned you that view_notification_random people are looking at this flight!
It's a kack-handed bit of fraud that demonstrates that Onetravel isn't even good at grifting -- so how good can they be at helping you buy your plane tickets?
Back in 2017, EFF, ACLU and ACLU of Massachusetts sued the US government on behalf of 11 travelers whose devices had been subjected to warrantless, suspicionless searches by Customs and Border Protection at the US border.
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