Monday, 18 May 2015

United Hacker Controls Flight.

Worrying news breaking from the United States of America regarding in flight safety of aircraft after a cyber security hacker's claim hit the headlines that he managed to control an aircraft mid-flight through its in-flight entertainment system.

According to media reports, the FBI warrant says researcher / hacker Chris Roberts took control of a United Airlines flight briefly and caused the aircraft to fly sideways for a short time.  It is not exactly clear when the incident took place however Roberts was detained by the FBI in April after he posted this tweet claiming he had hacked into the control systems of a United Airlines flight on which he was a passenger.

Chris Roberts claims he hacked the systems to expose security vulnerabilities on the aircraft, yet many in the industry dispute this, Yahoo's chief security officer tweeted, "You cannot promote the (true) idea that security research benefits humanity while defending research that endangered hundreds of innocents."

Other commentators feel Roberts makes the cyber security industry look weak, amateurish and irresponsible. Whilst others have been skeptical of the actual achievements of Roberts, doubting it actually took place at all.

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing also doubt the accuracy of Roberts boast, they say such a hack wouldn't even be possible because its entertainment systems are "isolated from flight and navigation systems."
The FBI has not said whether it plans to press charges against Roberts.

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