Can the Boeing 787 computer system be hacked or is it much ado about nothing?

There has been some interesting discussions in the blogosphere today about the computer system of the Dreamliner, and if it can be hacked.

According to a Wired.com posting, an FAA report has indicated that the Dreamliner’s computer network that allows wireless computer access to passengers is also connected to the plane’s controls and navigation systems, thereby creating a massive potential security risk.

Our colleagues at Computer Weekly have analysed the potential issues with doing this, stating that it is an extremely foolish idea to link safety-critical systems to other networks.

If the report is true, i suspect Boeing have analysed the risk and have put in place stringent security measures that safeguard passsenger safety and the aircraft. Personally i think this whole story may be a little wide of the mark but it does reinforce the need for adequate security protection, something which i am sure airliners have under control!!

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2 Responses to Can the Boeing 787 computer system be hacked or is it much ado about nothing?

  1. Rob Coppinger 8 January, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

    I dealt with this issue in this story

    http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2007/09/21/216948/hackers-hardwalled-from-787.html

    way back in September 2007

  2. Jim 10 January, 2008 at 8:07 am #

    From Rob’s story:
    On the ground, the 787 maintenance crew will have to use codes to make system changes. “Mechanics will have to enter an authentication code before uploading software or making setting changes,” says product marketing director Jim Haas.

    That doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence: it seems to imply that the systems are always online, with the security measures limited to access codes and the like – not exactly a hardwall, more of a software-wall.

    I’d like to see a physically separated (and removed before flight) system, not something that a (bribed / terrorist / disgruntled) mechanic could change at whim.

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