Could Hackers Take Down a Boeing in Mid-Flight?

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Angelina Jolie sense weakness in your flight's security.
You've already given up your dignity at the security check. And, briefly, your ability to empty your bladder during the last hour of a flight. Now, in order to keep air travel safe from a new threat, are you prepared to give up Tweeting at 36,000 feet?

That's the question asked by gadget blog ZGWQ. The FAA is warning jet makers like Boeing that allowing passengers to surf online may create vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit. Specifically, it may let them access all the gadgetry that keeps that big bird soaring.

Speaking to a security expert, ZGWQ found that in each plane there are "crossover points" between the network used by the guy in seat 8J searching for Seahawks updates and the maintenance network actually running the plane. This is a liability for which the FAA doesn't have a regulation. So it asks companies like Boeing to fix it themselves.

Plucky terrorists have already shown the ability hack into anything. (See: Predator drones that can be accessed using Windows.) So what's to stop a more sophisticated group from remotely hacking into the wired brain of a Dreamliner and turn it into the world's most destructive kamikaze weapon? (Fearmonger, much?)

The answer: No internet whatsoever. Eliminate the networks that allow passengers to surf and you (mostly) eliminate the chance of the plane getting hacked.

But we as travelers have already given up so much. Are we really prepared to sacrifice the right to watch cute things falling asleep?

 
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