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Airlines Failing on Cybersecurity, Says New Research

8/10/2014 by


Over 40% of airlines still don’t have a cybersecurity plan to deal with possible hacking attacks on in-flight systems, according to ongoing research into the industry by commercial aviation consultancy AirInsight.

The study has so far covered 46 airlines around the world and discovered that 42% currently don’t have a cyber defense plan in place, according to a report by industry title Runway Girl Network.

Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) are thought to be particularly at risk from malicious attackers in certain situations.

These are tablets or other electronics devices which pilots use typically in the cockpit to calculate and display aviation information on things like fuel, GPS coordinates and real-time satellite weather feeds.

However, the fear is that if the EFB is not installed inside the cockpit it might be more prone to attack.

“If an EFB is installed, like on the Airbus A380, that device can’t be moved around or impacted as easily as a portable device. Someone would have to come to the aircraft and infect the system,” said AirInsight, according to the report.

“On the other hand, the nice thing about Class 1 portable EFBs is that they’re not connected to the flight deck; there is still a human brain processing what the flight deck is saying and what the tablet is saying.”

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