Cyberattack warning to small plane owners: How your aircraft could be vulnerable

The alert from the DHS critical infrastructure computer emergency response team. warns that modern flight systems are vulnerable to hacking if a person manages to gain unrestricted access to an aircraft. The alert also recommends that small plane owners restrict unauthorized physical access to their aircraft the best they can. It warns that access should remain limited until the aviation industry takes further steps to address the issue.

The Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency, a part of DHS, received a report detailing the issue from a Boston-based cybersecurity company. The cybersecurity firm, Rapid7, found that an attacker could potentially disrupt electronic messages transmitted across a small plane’s network, for example by attaching a small device to its wiring, that would affect aircraft systems.

The alert details that engine readings, compass data, altitude data and airspeeds, among other systems, could be “manipulated to provide false measurements to the pilot.” It also added that a pilot relying on such instrument readings would be unable to distinguish between false and legitimate readings. This could cause a pilot to lose control of the aircraft.

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Source: FOX Business