Can Modern Jetliners Be Hacked?

Airbus-A320-002

Is it possible for hackers to break into the control systems of airliners in flight?

Aviation experts are skeptical, but APTN reports that one hacker claims to have done that.

If there is any truth to the story, it raises significant implications even beyond the memories of what occurred on 9/11.

A U.S. federal court document posted by APTN indicates that the FBI has seized computer equipment owned by outspoken hacker Chris Roberts, and filed for a search warrant to examine the devices.

Is Roberts seeking publicity?  No doubt.

How vulnerable are the flight systems on commercial airliners?

APTN says the hacker claims he was able to change the throttle settings on one of the jet’s engines and monitor traffic (presumably data) from the cockpit system.

If any of this is true, why is this guy not behind bars?

Read more here.

Reader comments are welcomed (below).

It’s unclear whether Roberts used WiFi or a physical Ethernet cable to perform his hack. The APTN story says that a box near the hacker’s seat had been opened and tampered with.  Does this mean that airliners have network ports that can be accessed by passengers?

It’s a good thing that the TSA confiscated Roberts’ dangerous 6 oz. toothpaste tube before he boarded the flight.

Contributed by Chet Hughes.

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