E&T news story: planes can be hacked via in-flight entertainment system

A cyber security news story from E&T online

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Dec 20, 2016
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An in-flight entertainment system used by some of the world’s largest airlines can be breached by hackers and even used to access wider aircraft networks, a cyber security researcher has found.

Ruben Santamarta, an ethical hacker at cyber security firm IOActive, broke into the in-flight entertainment system by Panasonic and used it to display messages, control cabin lighting and access the credit card details of frequent fliers. What is worse, the vulnerability could also be used to gain control over the aircraft’s controls, Santamarta said.

“I don’t believe these systems can resist solid attacks from skilled malicious actors,” the researcher told The Telegraph. “This only depends on the attacker’s determination and intentions, from a technical perspective it’s totally feasible.”

The in-flight entertainment system is used by major companies including Virgin, American and Emirates.

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Go to the profile of Simon Hamlet

Simon Hamlet

Managing Editor, The E&T Cyber Security Hub

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