In-flight WiFi could allow hackers to hijack planes, warns govt watchdog

April 15, 2015: In a report released this week, the United States watchdog group GAO (Government Accountability Office) warned that the increasing connectivity of our aircrafts, from flight tracking technology to in-flight WiFi, could allow hackers an access point to hackers to potentially hijack a flight.
The watchdog says: "Modern aircraft increasingly connected to the internet. This interconnections can potentially provide unauthorized remote access to aircraft avionics systems."

The report highlights the fact that the cockpit electronics is indirectly connected to the passenger cabin through shared Ip network. Ofcourse, the avionics of the planes is heavily moderated by firewalls. But like all software, this could be hacked .
The report also observes that the older system are less prone to hacking than modern systems, which are more connected to internet while old systems are not directly connected to FAA over the internet.

The GAO says that although the FAA is taking appropriate steps to improve the cybersecurity but there is still a huge room for improvements which could be done to protect planes from potential cyber threats.

"While FAA is working to transform the organization of its cybersecurity efforts," the report further adds, "the experts we consulted said that it could improve upon those efforts by including all key stakeholders in its agency-wide approach. All 15 of our cybersecurity and aviation experts agreed that organizational clarity regarding roles, responsibilities, and accountibility is key to ensuring cybersecurity across organization."

Source: TheGuardian.com, Image by Aerospace-Technology.com
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About Mohammed Rizwan

An Electronics Engineer by education, a part-time blogger by passion. He loves everything about technology, hence he writes about it. Interest includes Technology, Startups and Mobile Applications.
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