Feds Alert Airlines that Wi-Fi on Planes May Pose Hacking Risk

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News broke last week that Wi-Fi networks may make planes vulnerable to hacking by passengers. The issue sparked concern from the FBI and TSA which have both notified airlines about the issue, and state that airlines need to keep monitoring their on-board networks.

Both agencies do not have any information or proof to support the claims yet.

Evidence is currently being gathered to determine if planes can have their systems hacked. The threat of hacking into a plane’s Wi-Fi or In Flight Entertainment system is currently hypothetical.

While still being investigated, the government is taking the matter so seriously that they seized the electronics of Chris Roberts, a security researcher who joked that he was trying to access his plane’s oxygen masks. Roberts is known as an expert and has repeatedly warned Boeing and other airlines about vulnerabilities that went seemingly ignored.

The Government Accountability Office released a statement last week that showed unsecured connections leave the possibility of a hacker entering the plane’s navigational controls.

Airlines are being alerted to watch for passengers that may try to gain access to on-board networks through ports found underneath passenger seats.

Roberts states that he and other security researchers have used ports found underneath passenger seats to sniff out potential network vulnerabilities in the past.

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