Hacking not Hijacking: The new security concern
We all have seen high-tech, sci-fi thriller movies with hacking of cars, airplanes and even rockets. While it does give a good ratings to an entertaining movie, it seems highly unrealistic to be actually tried in real life. However, we have forgotten that even the most fantastical movie has its roots in real life. We all have assumed that these systems are well protected from an average hacker and least concerns of highly potential hackers. It might not be the case, though. Especially, for air planes which have a record of being the most hijacked public transport, the computerised system turns out to be their weakest points. With increasing growth and use of technology, pilots are more than ever depended upon their virtual flying gear. The drawback of their technology is, though the system has undergone various updates the basic technique is the same as it used to be in 1930s, quite outdated for today. This fact makes the airplane security as well as it’s functionality a matter of concern. Hijackers might actually find hacking the new way, fulfilling their means.
The fact that airplanes systems are vulnerable are now a proven fact. A doctoral student at Northwestern University Harshad Sathye said,
“But the instrument landing system is a very simple analog system. It can be spoofed”.
Sathye and his colleagues have used quite inexpensive methods to completely hack the landing systems of the airplanes and direct them off track. It won’t cause an airplane to crash abruptly but is enough to cause considerable trouble. Accordingly the group showcased two ways to hack the plane systems. One involved superimposing of high frequency signal to eclipse the legitimate, thus diverting them away from original location. The second involved low frequency signal that mixes with the legitimate signal and gives rise to an altogether new third signal. Hence, it has become increasingly important to make changes in our aeroplane systems for a safe flight.