ALARM IN THE SKIES: NEW GENERATION JETS SUBJECT TO HACKER ATTACKS Paradoxically the oldest planes are less vulnerable to hacker attacks

  • Italiano

The Airbus A830, also known as the great giant of the skies that can carry more than 850 passengers, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the A350, as well as all the aircraft of the new generation, may be subject to attacks by hackers. This is due to widespread wi-fi networks on board. Hackers could take control of on-board computers-including warning systems and navigation commands, bypassing pilots in this way and taking control of the aircraft or, more simply, infecting it with a virus. And all this without necessarily being on board.

This is what has emerged from a report from the general Accountabilty Office (Gao), the investigative office of Congress. The problem stems from the fact that the cockpits of modern aircraft use the same wi-fi connections available to passengers.”Modern technologies of communication,” said Gerald Dillingham, one of the authors of the report—and continue to spread within the vital aircraft systems, creating the possibility for intruders to access and violate the jet avionics systems “.

Gao investigators have contacted four cyber-security experts and all of them haveexplained that “firewall” (the classic security system of all computers) are software that, like any programme, can be hacked.” But to put at risk the safety of the new aircraft is not only wi-fi but also the USB ports on all passenger chairs. If they were to be attached to the network that handles the flight control systems, it would turn into another possibility for hackers to be able to access on board jets. Paradoxically, older planes are less vulnerable to hacker attacks because they lack communication systems and on-board computer management using web technology.

Translation provided by Marina Stronati

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