Raytheon Trials Cockpit Alerts for Cyber Threats
intrusion-detection system for cyberthreats to avionics - Something you thought impossible? Think again
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Nov 12, 2017
One obviously critical area is the flight deck: and, even though flight controls are kept entirely separate from other Internet-connected systems on board aircraft, the potential for unauthorised access remains real. This is why Raytheon is working to develop an intrusion-detection system for cyberthreats to avionics. At the Dubai Airshow this week, the company is showcasing a 3D demonstration of how such a system may look.
"This is a company-funded effort, and we think it's applicable to both commercial and military," says David Ray, vice-president of business development within Raytheon's information, intelligence and services division. "We've built a capability that is helping the pilot understand when they have a cyber-attack, by issuing a warning similar to a low-fuel warning or an engine-out warning. And we're also looking at ways we can remediate that problem while in flight."
The system, which Ray says is presently at around TRL 4 (technology readiness level 4) but which the company intends to get to product-demonstrator standard within the next three years, works by detecting unauthorized access to the avionics bus. A notification is then pushed to the pilot's display, with sufficient detail to enable a decision to be taken on whether remediation is possible to conduct in the air, or whether the aircraft should return to base.
A key preoccupation during the ongoing development is around how such a system will ...