U.S Cyber-Security Initiative On Aviation

Cyber-Security vulnerabilities discovered in airliners put the United States authorities into consideration on improving the defense to prevent causalities.

Department Transportation and Department of Homeland Security Initiative

According to Dave Bittner, Host of Cyberwire podcast, the U.S. has launched a program that identifies the flaws within the Boeing(s) and Airbus(es) which is lead by the Department of Homeland Security. The sector had previously acquired a used Boeing 757 aircraft back three years ago to accommodate the research in finding the vulnerabilities that are severe to the aviation system. As for public opinion, it provides a lot of controversies because there was a long silence from the research findings. Some stated that the findings were disclosed due to the results. The authorities could be keeping the information confidential to maintain stability in the public. The departments are worried that the flaws can be capitalized by the terrorist groups which could provide a better for them to threaten the passengers and plane attendants. 

Air Force Initiative 

Based on Dave, The U.S. Air Force set out in a separated research project to find the vulnerabilities. It aims to determine the flaws and improvement opportunities within the flight system. It is discovered that the flaws come from the airline reservation system where data can be stolen and monetized. However, the research conducted by the Department of Air Force is targeted at seeking to discover how airline safety and availability can be compromised. Since the Air Force aircraft are commercial models, it explains the interest of the department to initiate into this project. Air Force security assistant for acquisition technology and logistics, Dr. Will Roper, stated that Wall Street Journal, “If we don’t probe first, our adversaries will”. He continued – “We’ve been a little complacent in not trying to attack all of the parts of the airplane.”. It is to ensure that the hackers cannot exploit the electronics system of the planes. The motivation comes from the cyberattack back the previous years when the attackers attempted to disable the power grid and electoral system. 

Next Step

The initiatives are needed to provide the U.S. plane system to identify the cybersecurity risks, improve the strength of cybersecurity defense in the actual area of infrastructure, according to the Department of Homeland Security.


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