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Boeing 757’s Flight Controls Hacked on the Runway

Boeing 757’s Flight Controls Hacked on the Runway
Jackie Reddy

The incident occurred in September 2016 and involved a stationary craft at Atlantic City International Airport.

A cyber investigator for the Department of Homeland Security has revealed that he was able to remotely hack into the controls of a Boeing 757 back in 2016. The incident involved a stationary craft at Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) and saw Robert Hickey and his team access the plane’s controls without the knowledge of the crew.

He spoke of the incident in detail at a recent cyber security summit in Virginia, saying, “We got the airplane on September 19, 2016. Two days later, I was successful in accomplishing a remote, non-cooperative, penetration. [Which] means I didn’t have anybody touching the airplane, I didn’t have an insider threat.”

“I stood off using typical stuff that could get through security and we were able to establish a presence on the systems of the aircraft,” he added. Hickey explained that his team employed the use of radio frequency communications to access the plane, but was unable to reveal the exact method as details of the incident are classified.

Boeing, however, was quick to dismiss the potential gravity of the situation. In a statement quoted by CBSthe aircraft manufacturer said, “We firmly believe that the test did not identify any cyber vulnerabilities in the 757, or any other Boeing aircraft.”

A spokesperson for the company was also adamant that this breach incident did not compromise the security of any of Boeing’s fleet. The attack involved particular methods of hacking deployed on older craft with older systems, he explained.

“I’m not afraid to fly,” the official added.

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