DHS hacks into Trumps Airplane triggering a Cyber Threat alert!

All these days we witnessed hackers cyber attacking IT assets of small and big companies. But can anyone imagine cyber crooks hacking an airliner and taking the cockpit controls into their hands? And what if the jet airliner belongs to the 45th American President Donald Trump?

Yes, you’ve read it right! The Department of Homeland Security(DHS) recently hacked into the avionics of a commercial plane parked at an airport as a part of a test. And achieved success to a great extent.

And FYI, the hacked airliner was a 757 designed in 1970’s and is being operated by the US Air Force for flying diplomats and officials. The fact is that almost 9 of these airliners are being flown by the American carriers even today and are being used by Secretary of State and our Honorable President Donald Trump- his personal jet which was used prominently during the presidential campaign of 2016.

The issue came to light when Robert Hickey, a senior from the cybersecurity division of DHS revealed the same to some cyber experts attending the CyberSat Summit in Tysons Corner in Virginia. He admitted that his team has accomplished a remote & Non -cooperative penetration onto a Boeing 757 owned by his department, while parked at Atlantic City Airport.

Hickey specified in his briefing that the objective behind the hack was to disclose to the world that jet airplanes were vulnerable to cyber attacks. And almost 90 percent of commercial jets flying around the world today are vulnerable to hackers.

Scott McConnell, a spokesperson for the DHS later announced that the disclosure was meant for educational purposes and was conducted in an artificial testing environment with all risk reduction measures in place.

McConnell added in his statement that neither the airlines or the air force had the maintenance crews who were capable to detect such cyber threats in advance.

NOTE-In 2014, The Federal Aviation Administration issued a warning that the screens displaying vital info on the flight screens to the pilot in more than 1,300 Boeing’s were vulnerable to cyber attacks. The agency said that hackers can either make the screens go blank or flicker on a consistent note during takeoffs and landings, which could put all the 500-700 passengers on board at high risk.

Hope, all this information doesn’t lead to a situation where the 1997 movie Air Force One turns into a reality!

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

No posts to display