Hacker reveals threat to aircraft cyber security through on-board WiFi

Victoria
By Victoria August 4, 2014 18:11

Hacker reveals threat to aircraft cyber security through on-board WiFi

Cyber security researcher Ruben Santamarta has revealed a method of hacking into the satellite communications equipment on aircraft through their on-board WiFi links and through inflight entertainment systems.

Santamarta is due to report his findings at a conference in Las Vegas this week.

Santamarta stated that he discovered the system vulnerabilities by “reverse engineering” the on-board systems’ source code and firmware. He said: “These devices are wide open. The goal of this talk [at the conference] is to help change that situation.”

While acknowledging his research has only been conducted under laboratory conditions, Santamarta also stated that in theory, a hacker could use an aircraft’s onboard WiFi signal or inflight entertainment system to hack into its avionics equipment, potentially disrupting or modifying satellite communications, which in turn could interfere with the aircraft’s navigation and safety systems.

Santamarta said he decided to reveal his findings in order to encourage manufacturers to fix what he saw as serious security flaws.

Victoria
By Victoria August 4, 2014 18:11