Homeland Security team Remotely Hacked a Boeing 757
A Department of Homeland Security official admitted that a team of experts remotely hacked a Boeing 757 parked at an airport.
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By Ms. Smith, CSO | NOV 12, 2017 10:33 AM PT
During a keynote address on Nov. 8 at the 2017 CyberSat Summit, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official admitted that he and his team of experts remotely hacked into a Boeing 757.
- Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues. She focuses on the unique challenges of maintaining privacy and security, both for individuals and enterprises. She has worked as a journalist and has also penned many technical papers and guides covering various technologies. Smith is herself a self-described privacy and security freak.
This hack was not conducted in a laboratory, but on a 757 parked at the airport in Atlantic City, N.J. And the actual hack occurred over a year ago. We are only now hearing about it thanks to a keynote delivered by Robert Hickey, aviation program manager within the Cyber Security Division of the DHS Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate.
"We got the airplane on Sept. 19, 2016. Two days later, I was successful in accomplishing a remote, non-cooperative, penetration," Hickey said in an article in Avionics Today. "[That] means I didn't have anybody touching the airplane; I didn't have an insider threat. I stood off using typical stuff that could get through security, and we were able to establish a presence on the systems of the aircraft."
While the details of the hack are classified, Hickey admitted that his team of industry experts and academics pulled it off by accessing the 757's "radio frequency communications."
We've been hearing about how commercial airliners could be hacked for years.
You might remember when a governmental watchdog admitted that the interconnectedness of modern commercial airliners could "potentially provide unauthorized remote access to aircraft avionics systems." The concern was that a hacker could go through the Wi-Fi passenger network to hijack a plane while it was in flight.
90 percent of commercial planes in the sky are legacy aircraft that were not designed with security in mind...