Airplanes could be taken over through inflight entertainment systems, hacker claims

Airplanes could be taken over through inflight entertainment systems, hacker claims (RT, Aug 4, 2014):

A security researcher says that ships, aircraft and industrial facilities are all at risk of being compromised — perhaps with catastrophic results — and intends to explain how at a major hacker conference this week.

Ruben Santamarta, a 32-year-old consultant for cyber security firm IOActive, is expected to present a talk titled “SATCOM Terminals: Hacking by Air, Sea and Land” on Thursday at the annual Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, and during it he plans to demonstrate how satellite communications systems used by the likes of commercial airliners and oil rigs alike can be infiltrated by malicious actors and altered to let unauthorized attackers take control.

“We live in a world where data is constantly flowing. It is clear that those who control communications traffic have a distinct advantage. The ability to disrupt, inspect, modify or re-route traffic provides an invaluable opportunity to carry out attacks,” Santamarta says.

According to an abstract of the talk made public by Santamarta, during Thursday’s talk he’ll explain how devices sold by the world’s leading SATCOM vendors contain substantial security flaws. After analyzing those products, IOActive said they determined that “100 percent of the devices could be abused” by an array of attack vectors.

These devices are wide open. The goal of this talk is to help change that situation,” Santamarta told Reuters for a report published on Monday this week.

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