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Showing posts with label Aircraft Hacking. Show all posts

A Security Researcher Discovers A Fully Unprotected Server On An Aerospace Company’s Network




A security researcher for security firm IOActive, discovered a completely unprotected server on an aerospace company’s network, apparently loaded with code designed in a way to keep running on the company's giant 737 and 787 passenger jets, left openly available and accessible to any individual who found it.

After a year Ruben Santamarta, the security researcher guarantees that the said leaked code has led him to further discover security flaws in one of the 787 Dreamliner's segments, somewhere down in the plane's multi-tiered system. Which he recommends that for a hacker, abusing those bugs could 'represent' one stage in a multi­stage attack that begins in the plane's in-flight entertainment system and stretches out to the highly protected, safe-critical systems like flight controls and sensors.

Despite the fact that the aerospace company Boeing, straight out denies that such an attack is even conceivable, it even rejects Santamarta's claims of having found a potential way to pull it off. Despite the fact that Santamarta himself concedes that he doesn't the possess the right evidence to affirm his claims, yet he along with the various avionics cybersecurity researchers who have inspected and reviewed his discoveries argue that while an all-out cyberattack on a plane's most sensitive frameworks 'remains a long way' from a material threat, the flaws revealed in the 787's code regardless speak to a rather troubled lacking of attention regarding cybersecurity from Boeing.


We don't have a 787 to test, so we can't assess the impact, we’re not saying it’s doomsday, or that we can take a plane down. But we can say: This shouldn’t happen," says Santamarta at the Black Hat security conference on the 8th of August in Las Vegas.

When Boeing investigated IOActive's claims they reasoned that there doesn't exist any genuine danger of a cyberattack and issued an announcement with respect to the issue ,” IOActive’s scenarios cannot affect any critical or essential airplane system and do not describe a way for remote attackers to access important 787 systems like the avionics system," the company's statement reads.

"IOActive reviewed only one part of the 787 network using rudimentary tools, and had no access to the larger system or working environments. IOActive chose to ignore our verified results and limitations in its research, and instead made provocative statements as if they had access to and analyzed the working system. While we appreciate responsible engagement from independent cybersecurity researchers, we’re disappointed in IOActive’s irresponsible presentation."

The company spokesperson even said that while investigating IOActive's claims, Boeing had even put an actual Boeing 787 in "flight mode" for testing, and after that had its security engineers attempt to misuse the vulnerabilities that Santamarta had uncovered.

Boeing says it likewise counselled with the  Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Homeland Security about Santamarta's attack. While the DHS didn't react to a solicitation for input, a FAA spokesperson wrote in a statement that it's  "satisfied with the manufac­turer’s assessment of the issue."

However there are quite a few security researchers who accept that, in light of Santamarta's discoveries alone, a hacker could make any impending threat to an aircraft or its passengers, other than that Santamarta's research, in spite of Boeing's dissents and affirmations, as indicated by them ought to be a reminder to everybody that aircraft security is a long way from a 'solved area of cybersecurity research.'

Cybercriminals disturbing air traffic




Travelling via air has always been the most preferred and fastest option available to us at any given time but have we ever given a thought whether it is the safest in every context technical and cyber?

Never mind the technical mishaps that happen when least expected the accidents that occur are rare but shocking and terrible but are we aware of the dangers related to flying in the light of cyber security?

As we probably are aware, cybercriminals are driven for the most part by their thirst for money and power—and disturbing the air traffic and airport regulation helps they satisfy it. While the dominant part of these cyber security occurrences result in data breaks, but: Attacks on this imperative framework could prompt significantly more inauspicious outcomes.

Associations like the ATO and EUROCONTROL deal with the air traffic across continents, connecting with business and military bodies to control the coordination and planning of air traffic in their assigned region. These associations work firmly together, as there are numerous intercontinental flights that move across from one area then onto the next they respond quite rapidly to such episodes.
These Aviation control organisations require immaculate correspondence to work legitimately, as they are essential to keeping up the normal stream of air traffic. 

Along these lines, their related frameworks are intensely computerized which makes them the primary targets for the said cyber-attacks.

However apart from Air Traffic there are a lot more factors as well that have a specific negative effect on the transportation service. Some of the major ones being terrorist attacks, ransomeware attacks, targeted cyber-attacks in addition to the budget concerns.

Terrorists have hijacked Aircrafts before, the most known incident being 9/11, where the terrorists infiltrated onto four different air crafts, disabled the pilots. Anyway these physical, in-person hijacks are the reason behind the broad safety measures that we all experience at each major air terminal.

Despite the fact that these hijackers don't need to be physically present to cause such immense harm. As exhibited before, air crafts can be hacked remotely and malware can contaminate computer frameworks in the air crafts as well.

What's more, similar to some other industry, we likewise find numerous ransomware victims in the avionics and air traffic sector. The most popular one being air and express freight carrier FedEx that surprisingly has been a ransomeware victim twice: once through their TNT division hit by NotPetya, and once in their own conveyance unit by WannaCry.

When turning towards targeted cyberattacks the most fitting precedent is that of the IT system of Boryspil International Airport, situated in the Ukraine, which purportedly incorporated the airport's air traffic regulation system. Because of rough relations among Ukraine and Russia, attribution immediately swerved to BlackEnergy, a Russian APT group considered responsible of numerous cyberattacks on the country.

Lastly, "Where budgets are concerned, cybersecurity is treated reactively instead of proactively.
In 2017, the Air Traffic Control Aviation (ATCA) published a white paper issuing this warning as in a 2016 report by the Ponemon Institute discovered that the associations did not budget for the technical, administrative, testing, and review activities that are important to appropriately operate a  secure framework.

Bearing these factors in mind while the physical security on airports have been increased fundamentally, it appears that the cyber security of this essential framework still needs a considerable amount of work and attention, particularly remembering the sheer number of cyber-attacks on the industry that have occurred over the most recent couple of years.

The excrement will undoubtedly hit the propeller if the air traffic and cargo enterprises yet again fail to incorporate cybersecurity in their financial plan and structure propositions for the coming year.

Hacker can control aircraft system with Android Smartphone


A Security Researcher Hugo Teso at Hack In The Box security conference has demonstrated that it is possible for a hacker to take control of aircraft system with an android smartphone.

By hijacking a protocol used to send data to commercial aircraft and exploiting bugs in flight management software, a hacker can send radio signals to planes that would cause them to execute arbitrary commands such as changes in direction, altitude, speed, and the pilots’ displays.

"Teso demonstrated an Android application he built that allowed him to redirect a virtual plane with just a tap on a map application running on his Samsung Galaxy phone." Forbes report reads.

Teso told Forbes that he was able to use the exploit "to modify approximately everything related to the navigation of the plane that includes a lot of nasty things"

Teso notified Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Administration and they are working with the affected aerospace companies to fix the vulnerability.

The presentation can be found here : Aircraft hacking[PDF].