Melody Teh

News

Fri, 17 Apr, 2015

Why you need to be wary of wifi on planes

Why you need to be wary of wifi on planes

The same internet access that allows us to surf the net while flying in the skies makes it possible for hackers to bring down a plane, a US government watchdog has warned.

The finding by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in the US points out that as airlines attempt to modernise planes with internet-based technology, it leaves new vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit.

The GAO does note that attacks would be very difficult to pull off and not very likely but presented some possible scenarios.

Rep. Peter DeFazio from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, who requested the investigation, noted a worst-case scenario would be a terrorist with a laptop on a flight who takes control of the aeroplane using its passenger wifi.

While the cockpit isn’t connected to the same system used by passengers to watch movies or work on their laptops, as airlines update their systems, it’s possible for wifi systems to share routers or internal wiring.

“According to cybersecurity experts we interviewed, internet connectivity in the cabin should be considered a direct link between the aircraft and the outside world, which includes potential malicious actors,” the report states.

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