Android app could hijack plane

12/04/2013

Android App Could Hijack Plane

A security consultant has shown how an app for Android mobile phones could be used to take control on commercial aeroplanes.

Hugo Teso demonstrated how an app he developed could be used to steal important information from aircraft systems and even control the plane by uploading a new flight plan or controlling the steering wheel at the Hack in the Box security event in Amsterdam.

The news couldn't have come at a more significant time as the US is currently thinking about relaxing the laws that restrict when and where people can use handheld devices on planes.

Although Mr Teso is a qualified pilot he stressed that several plane systems are insecure and unencrypted and that once the aircraft was put into autopilot mode he could hack into the systems. He did lose control once the plane was taken off the autopilot mode thankfully.

Speaking to Forbes he said: "The aeroplane has no means to know if the messages it receives are valid or not so they accept them."

Obviously the trained commercial pilot didn't demonstrate it on a real flight, but instead replicated an aircraft system in his lab.

Posted by Samantha Green

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