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Tuesday, 17 August 2010 11:48

US Air systems vulnerabile to cyber attack

Written by Nick Farell
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How to bring down a plane without setting your underpants on fire
Federal Aviation Administration computer systems are wide open to cyber attacks despite improvements at a number of key radar facilities in the past year.

The US Department of Transportation's Inspector General said while the FAA has taken steps to install more sophisticated systems to detect cyber intrusions in some air traffic control facilities, most sites have not been upgraded. The FAA also said that upgrades to critical air traffic control systems have taken precedence over the intrusion detection improvements.

However at the moment the FAA cannot effectively monitor air traffic control for possible cyber attacks or take action to stop them. According to Associated Press the findings echo broad U.S. government worries about gaps in critical U.S. computer systems and networks that leave them vulnerable to cyber attacks by criminals, terrorists or nation states.

So far hackers have only managed to get there way into support files for the FAA, but never managed to take control of a traffic tower.

Nick Farell

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