Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner passenger jet may have a serious security
vulnerability in its onboard computer networks that could allow
passengers to access the plane's control systems, according to the U.S.
Federal Aviation Administration.
The computer network in the Dreamliner's passenger compartment,
designed to give passengers in-flight internet access, is connected to
the plane's control, navigation and communication systems, an FAA
The revelation is causing concern in security circles because the
physical connection of the networks makes the plane's control systems
vulnerable to hackers. A more secure design would physically separate
the two computer networks. Boeing said it's aware of the issue and has
designed a solution it will test shortly.
“This is serious,” said Mark Loveless, a network security analyst with Autonomic Networks, a company in stealth mode, who presented a conference talk last year on Hacking the Friendly Skies
(PowerPoint). “This isn’t a desktop computer. It's controlling the
systems that are keeping people from plunging to their deaths. So I
hope they are really thinking about how to get this right.”