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Nesher

Hacking Passenger Jets?

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this guy claims he has the ability to hack airliners and feed them false information

http://conference.hitb.org/hitbsecconf2013ams/materials/D1T1%20-%20Hugo%20Teso%20-%20Aircraft%20Hacking%20-%20Practical%20Aero%20Series.pdf

sounds interesting if it's true, terrifying even when thinking what are the possibilities of this kind of power one might have in the palm of his hand..

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjRzqGUFECI

 

I'd like to hear FC or any other pilots what they think, and if it is a known issue

any kind of instructions given by the FAA?

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Actually, I just read the article a few minutes before you posted it.

 

The problem is that the article is too vague...it talks about supposed threats to the ACARS system (which we do use) and the FMS.

 

In our aircraft, the ACARS gets information from the FMS, but doesn't give information TO the FMS. The FMS is what controls navigation in modern aircraft...think of it as your computer you program to tell you where the aircraft should go. The FMS of most modern aircraft (as far as I know) use GPS, INS, and available NAVAIDS (VOR/DME, TACAN, ILS, etc) to come up with a 'blended' solution as to where the aircraft thinks it is and where it thinks it's going. Again, the ACARS in our aircraft (A300/A310) does not send any of this information to the FMS...so it has no influence on it (again, as far as I know).

 

Now, the best way to think of ACARS is as a cheap ass cell phone that can send and receive texts, and record information to send to the company...a terminal for a mini 'black box' as it were. You could, in theory, maybe, send a spoofer text to the aircraft. But I have no idea how secure the ACARS link is. And if you sent a text to do something weird, I'm pretty sure the first thing the pilots will say is 'WTF?' and call the company to get confirmation. Again, as far as I know, there is no way for the ACARS to directly affect the FMS, INS, GPS, etc in any way, shape, or form.

 

It's an interesting article, but it simply does not give enough information to make a determination as to the validity of the threat.

 

FC

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Thought of Die Hard 2 when read this. From the bit FC says, seems a more likely scenario esp in the US where seversl towers are due to close soon

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Its likely the control systems in these jets are not designed with security in mind - however its accessing the systems that would surely be the problem for any hackers. It would be pretty stupid to give any kind of external access to any networked systems that give control of the jet - those systems should be isolated - and physically protected on the Jet.

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Thought of Die Hard 2 when read this. From the bit FC says, seems a more likely scenario esp in the US where seversl towers are due to close soon

 

Tower closures don't work like that. We do non tower ops all the time...and none it has to do with the ACARS system.

 

FC

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Thought of Die Hard 2 when read this. From the bit FC says, seems a more likely scenario esp in the US where seversl towers are due to close soon

 

 

Ha - yep they hack into the hard wires in the ground though to manipulate the ILS from what I remember - whereas in the airliner case you would be talking more Battlestar Galactica where they shut the vipers down over a wireless interface.

 

Because computing is so flipping complicated things can be overlooked and protocols can never be tested properly within time/cost constraints - therefore there is always the possibility of some smartass finding ways to do it - but as I said if you give any external access leading back to the control system you are asking for it!

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Tower closures don't work like that. We do non tower ops all the time...and none it has to do with the ACARS system.

 

FC

Thats good. I meant easier to acess the ground equipment if no ones home( making migbusters memory of hard wires not as needed, they just walkin and turn on) but sounds like they wont be that bad.

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The problem with DH2 was the absurd idea that the airport was the only one in the area for like hundreds of miles. What pilot would orbit an airfield for HOURS until the fuel was almost exhausted? ATC coverage overlaps, wouldn't they start calling other airports and requesting to divert when they got low on fuel? Not that most planes would have HOURS of reserve on board anyway.

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"or the media is extrapolating wildly — and giving people the entirely wrong impression"

 

 

Pretty much says it all - see it a lot of it in the media - you hope they are just clueless - but suspect their agenda is to subvert people into reading their crap.

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