Commercial and military planes have an exploit that leaves them vulnerable to hackers on the ground! Experts say that this could lead to chaos in the airspace.
Professionals fear that this could be the next big ordeal. For now, terrorists do not possess the sophistication to remotely bring down a plane, but this could change. Such a flaw lies in satellites and communication systems. Quite frankly, satellites control features such as autopilot, radar, etc. Hackers could literally shut down the engines. While commercial aircraft might be the main target, military and private aircraft will definitely be a huge “go-to” for terrorists.
“I discovered a backdoor that allowed me to gain privileged access to the Satellite Data Unit, the most important piece of SATCOM (satellite communications) equipment on aircraft,” said Ruben Santamarta, Principal Security Consultant for IOActive. A backdoor is a feature or flaw in a system that allows access to unauthorized data in a system.
There are multiple “high risk vulnerabilities” in the SATCOM system such as weak algorithms, weak cryptology, and more fancy terms. Research by two security analysts discovered that hackers could gain access in two undisclosed ways.
“Worst case would likely be the ability to access the avionics systems, monitor and possibly influence the control interfaces and other critical flight environments typically found on the private plane subnet,” giving the hacker the ability “to intercept and possibly modify the packets of data being sent from the controls to the actuators using readily available software,” Robert said, an analyst.
Not everyone believes that terrorists will switch to the new outbreak in cyber security. Analysts say that terrorists will “stick with what they know”. “Most terrorist groups do not appear to have the technical sophistication to hack into systems the way some describe,” Harrison, another analyst, said.
Where do you think terrorists will take this? It is quite apparent to the media that this will be the next new “thing”. Discuss with us below.
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