Threat Level: green Handler on Duty: Didier Stevens

SANS ISC: Help your pilot fly! - SANS Internet Storm Center SANS ISC InfoSec Forums

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Help your pilot fly!

What the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) calls "novel and unusual" apparently entails some sort of direct network connectivity between the avionics (think: cockpit) and the passenger entertainment system (think: dude with his iPhone connected to the in-seat USB port) in the latest Boeing 737 models.

Details here:

The good news is, if you get bored on your next flight, and the movies are all *meh*, you might be able to connect to the cockpit and help the pilot do his/her job. Pilots, these days, are all stressed out, and I'm sure they appreciate help from all the XBox and Nintendo pilots sitting in the main cabin!  A completely new form of auto-pilot: Flying a plane through majority decision by the geeks in the cabin!

I wonder how many years we are away from a cross-platform virus that moves from Joe Bloe's PC at home, to his phone, to his car, to his tablet, to his airplane. I hope it never happens. But the "internet of things" manufacturers, especially the manufacturers of massive moving things, seem to be very keen to get us there.



385 Posts
ISC Handler
Jun 11th 2014
This is apparently already happening in the case of automobiles. Anti-virus companies are already investigating products for automotive computers. I'm astounded by the lack of secure design here. Last year, I wrote a bit about this in one of my weekly blogs:

Alas.. did they learn NOTHING from MA370!?!? Do they know there are already apps that access the C&C, oh look, the masks fell from the overhead bin or RT flight trackers? Our family has been around aircraft since the 50's, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Falcon, Gulf Stream not to mention many carriers. Sadly, we have been to the gravesides of family and friends because of poor decisions like this, mechanical, electronic, pilot error because of complex electronics.

Wonder what would happen if the FAA Execs were to be on a plane that had compromised the C&C.. Oh wait.. they fly "private" Gulf Streams on the taxpayers.

This very myopic decision coupled with the "drones" is a cocktail for disaster. People, start looking up, even though 99% of people are looking down at their "smart device".. is that a shooting star or meteor? Ah.. nope!


52 Posts

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