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United cockpit access information may have leaked out

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United cockpit access information may have leaked out

Old 14th May 2017, 19:43
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United cockpit access information may have leaked out

United Airlines says cockpit door access info may have been made public - CBS News
"United Airlines said in a "Safety Alert" emailed to employees that information regarding its flight deck access security procedures "may have been compromised," CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave reports.

It also said in an emailed statement to CBS News that "some cockpit door access information may have been made public."

The email to employees, sent on Saturday, was short on specifics. But the airline said it was working on a "corrective action plan," noting that pilots have been asked to review procedures during briefings."
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Old 15th May 2017, 15:00
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it's my understanding that there was some noise on social media about flight deck codes, but no evidence was found
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Old 15th May 2017, 15:40
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If more than two people know it, how can it be a secret?
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Old 15th May 2017, 17:02
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It's not much of a secret. My airline employer recommends cabin crew hand the code over if in fear of their or others lives. The flight crew assess and override any coded request as necessary.
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Old 15th May 2017, 17:35
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How about you delete this?
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Old 15th May 2017, 19:24
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If the airline has a two-person cockpit policy, there is no need for a code at all. Even if one pilot has gone for a comfort break, someone can open the door from the inside. Before we get into the "what would a little hostie do in a case like the German Wings, where she wouldn't have the strength to overpower a determined man?", the answer is simple Open the door. Both companies I flew with post 9/11 had both, a two-person cockpit, and a coded door.
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Old 15th May 2017, 19:25
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United do have a 2-person cockpit policy.

Some other airlines don't.

Both viewpoints can be deemed sensible.
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Old 15th May 2017, 19:53
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Oh dear....the bad pilot simply sets the automatics for a high-speed descent to the ground on its heading, then gets up to block the door and the crew member before he/she knows what bad pilot has done. And no need to use bad language there, Herod
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Old 15th May 2017, 22:44
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If the airline has a two-person cockpit policy, there is no need for a code at all. Even if one pilot has gone for a comfort break, someone can open the door from the inside.
And what happens if the one inside is incapacitated (medical issue, etc.)?
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Old 16th May 2017, 07:36
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And what happens if the one inside is incapacitated (medical issue, etc.)?
That is why you have a TWO-PERSON policy. So the other one can open the door.
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Old 16th May 2017, 07:37
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And what happens if the one inside is incapacitated (medical issue, etc.)?
Those that use the "single pilot" procedure know the safeguards, I'm not sure there's any reason to discuss them in detail here...

TBH I think ImbracableClunk made a good point back in permalink #5, but I'm a bit old fashioned abut these things.
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Old 16th May 2017, 13:25
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Originally Posted by Herod View Post
Even if one pilot has gone for a comfort break, someone can open the door from the inside.
Surely only one person can open the door from the inside in such a situation.... or did you mean "from the outside" ?
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Old 16th May 2017, 13:52
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Naive question coming up.

Someone I know works for a well-known computing company. He told some of us that he has to have a 32 character password, containing no recognisable sequences such as real words, not written down anywhere, and changed every two weeks.

I'm not suggesting that airliner doors need to be that elaborate, but surely occasional changes are in order?

At a local ATM, I notice that the number 1 is more worn than the others. I have no idea what these cabin locks look like, but if the code stays the same for months, it may become easier to guess.
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Old 16th May 2017, 18:59
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That's actually a monumentally stupid password policy, just take a read of the following if you don't believe me: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archiv...nt_passwo.html (I find it hard to believe people wouldn't write those passwords down...)

Now I've seen pilots and FAs carry books of codes for airport doors, so I wonder if the same applies to cockpit doors. In which case you could just invalidate the codes and send out a new set.
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Old 17th May 2017, 00:45
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Originally Posted by aox View Post
At a local ATM, I notice that the number 1 is more worn than the others. I have no idea what these cabin locks look like...
Perhaps because most ATMs in the US display a screen that reads "press 1 for English?"

Also, at least at my ATM, pressing the "1" key gives up fast cash in the realm of $40, which is what I think most folks choose.
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Old 17th May 2017, 00:53
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Originally Posted by triploss View Post
That's actually a monumentally stupid password policy, just take a read of the following if you don't believe me...
Completely correct.

The secret to a successful password is an arcane string, not something one would have to write down.

A brute force attack will eventually reveal any password. Especially on badly configured systems which allow unlimited guesses.

The whole idea of a password is to achieve something only the user knows by heart.

A string of 32 characters, with punctuation and random caps doesn't fit.
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Old 17th May 2017, 02:43
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Originally Posted by rottenray View Post
Perhaps because most ATMs in the US display a screen that reads "press 1 for English?"

Also, at least at my ATM, pressing the "1" key gives up fast cash in the realm of $40, which is what I think most folks choose.
Here in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, the language selection is usually automatic (or no option given anyway)

And the function then amount selection buttons are alongside the screen, separate from the bottom keypad, which is only used for other amount, i.e. the less common ones

So perhaps you can find someone else to patronise.
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Old 17th May 2017, 03:04
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Originally Posted by triploss View Post
That's actually a monumentally stupid password policy, just take a read of the following if you don't believe me: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archiv...nt_passwo.html (I find it hard to believe people wouldn't write those passwords down...)
That article refers to changing only one out of 10 characters.

Not quite the same as changing most or all of a larger string.

Last edited by aox; 28th May 2017 at 13:56.
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Old 17th May 2017, 03:39
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How about just remove those door locks. They were a knee-jerk reaction to 911.

You can still have the doors, this will slow them down, but in reality if someone is prepared to get in, they are prepared to get in.
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Old 17th May 2017, 03:57
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Agreed. I think that what the security experts fail to recognize is that post-9/11, the mindset changed. Before that, if (as a passenger) your plane was hijacked, chances were good that all it meant was that you were going to be inconvenienced by a side trip to some third-world country. Now - it's unlikely that those hijackers just want a ride somewhere. It makes it a lot less likely that passengers are just going to sit there like sheep and let the hijackers do as they choose - and even if the hijackers are armed, there are a lot more non-terrorists than there are terrorists in the back of the plane.
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