Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Eliminate costly downtime!
Find out how with Free White Paper
& enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Digital Life
24/7/365 Network Uptime
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Can Planes Be Hijacked by Android Phone?
Can Planes Be Hijacked by Android Phone?

By Barry Levine
April 12, 2013 2:14PM

    Bookmark and Share
The Android phone hijack claim is not the first warning that cyber-terrorism could be launched remotely against aircraft. Last summer, two presentations at a Black Hat and Defcon security conference said a new system for tracking and control of aircraft in the U.S. and other countries has insufficient encryption to prevent a terrorist from creating false plane information.
 



It sounds like part of a Bruce Willis action movie: A hacker takes remote control of a commercial aircraft, using only an Android smartphone. A German security researcher said this week it can be done, but the Federal Aviation Administration is denying the claim.

The researcher, Hugo Teso, works for German IT company n.runs and is also a commercial pilot. At the Hack in the Box security conference this week in Amsterdam, he explained that transmissions to commercial aircraft can be hijacked, thus hijacking the aircraft.

The protocol of the transmissions is ACARS, or the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System. Teso said a hacker can take advantage of security vulnerabilities in ACARS, as well as vulnerabilities in flight management software from Honeywell and other aircraft technology companies. To take control, Teso created an Android app called PlaneSploit that exploits these vulnerabilities to talk to the aircraft's Flight Management Systems.

'Lot of Nasty Things'

Teso said his app can direct the plane to change direction, altitude, speed, and can change the data on pilots' screens. He told Forbes magazine that "you can use this system to modify approximately everything related to the navigation of the plane," including "a lot of nasty things."

This is not the first warning that cyber-terrorism could be launched remotely against aircraft. Last summer, two presentations at the Black Hat and Defcon security conference in Las Vegas said a new system for tracking and control of aircraft in the U.S. and other countries, which is being rolled out over the next few years, has insufficient encryption to prevent a terrorist from creating false plane information.

This could swamp air traffic controllers with fake status reports from fake aircraft, preventing them from guiding actual aircraft to safe landings because they wouldn't known which ones were real. One of the security researchers at the Black Hat conference, Andrei Costin, had reported that even "a medium-technical savvy person" could impersonate a plane that wasn't there.

Honeywell, FAA Dispute Findings

Some of the companies that developed the aircraft flight management software dispute Teso's claims.

Honeywell said that, although it will work with n.runs to assess the vulnerabilities, Teso's work does not necessarily prove there is risk because his experimentations over three years were on Flight Management Systems hardware he bought on eBay, and used FMS training simulation software that claims it has some of the same code as in actual commercial aircraft. A Honeywell spokesperson told Forbes the training simulation software "doesn't have the same protections against overwriting or corrupting as our certified flight software."

In reply, n.runs said the vulnerabilities were not in the FMS software that was being tested, but in actual aircraft functions, and that the hack would require only minimum adaptation to work on an actual plane.

Similarly, the FAA, the European Aviation Safety Administration, and aircraft technology company Rockwell Collins have released statements that current systems are secure and are not equivalent to Teso's lab environment.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Kevin:

Posted: 2013-04-23 @ 10:27am PT
yep. I want to see some proofs, stop talking gibberish.

Robert:

Posted: 2013-04-16 @ 5:16pm PT
If there are vulnerabilities... let's see them in action... all of this is just talk.



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Digital Life
1.   Amazon 3D Smartphone Pics Leaked
2.   Zebra Buys Motorola Enterprise Biz
3.   Google's Modular Phone Set for January
4.   CTIA Caves, Offers Kill Switch Plan
5.   Why Netflix Got So Blazingly Fast


advertisement
BlackBerry Drops T-Mobile After Spat
Moving on to other carriers after snub.
Average Rating:
Android Wear on Tap for Wearables
OK Google, what's really new here?
Average Rating:
Google, Viacom Settle Copyright Battle
Bury digital hatchet over YouTube.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
IBM Offers Security, Disaster Recovery as SoftLayer Service
New disaster recovery and security services for SoftLayer clients are being added by IBM. Big Blue said the new capabilities will speed cloud adoption by alleviating concern over business continuity.
 
How To Beat the Heartbleed Bug
Heartbleed headlines continue as IT admins scramble for answers no one has. Early reports of stolen personal data, including 900 social insurance numbers in Canada, are starting to trickle in.
 
After Heartbleed, OpenSSL Calls for More Support
The president of the OpenSSL Foundation says more support is needed from companies and governments that use its software so that it can better spot and fix flawed pieces of code such as Heartbleed.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
Google Glass may find its first markets in verticals in which hands-free access to data is a boon. Medicine is among the most prominent of those, as seen in a number of Glass experiments under way.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Amazon 3D Smartphone Pics Leaked
E-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly set to launch a smartphone after years of development. Photos of the phone, which may feature a unique 3D interface, were leaked by tech pub BGR.
 
Zebra Tech Buys Motorola Enterprise for $3.45B
Weeks after Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility’s assets from Google for $2.91 million, Zebra Technologies is throwing down $3.45 billion for Motorola’s Enterprise business in an all-cash deal.
 
CTIA Caves, Volunteers Kill Switch Plan
After bucking against the concept of a smartphone kill switch, the CTIA just announced the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” to thwart smartphone thefts in the U.S.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | Small Business | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.