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In-Flight Airplane hacked - from the ground

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In-Flight Airplane hacked - from the ground

Old 14th Jun 2018, 19:18
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
Any competent crew should be able to detect if the aircraft isn't going where they want and take corrective action
To pick one simple example: If the selected track and altitude were 045 and FL390, and *all* of the displays were all showing data consistent with that, including updated GPS positions, etc. but the airplane was actually tracking 065 at FL300, how quickly do you think a crew would notice? My bet is on "never".
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 19:31
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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I will say this, a lot of interesting "unfixable" problems have been found the last few years for computers in general. As a programmer the "rowhammer" exploit amuses me a lot, for example. Or the more recent meltdown and spectre cpu bugs. If you cant trust neither Cpu nor memory to behave as expected it suddenly takes much more effort to write secure software.

So, in theory, there could be a lot of "hard to fix" bugs in the flying hardware. But it would still require _some_ physical or logical access, unless you come out with superfancy radio-intereference stuff, but that really sounds like science-fiction...
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 19:39
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Gauges and Dials View Post
To pick one simple example: If the selected track and altitude were 045 and FL390, and *all* of the displays were all showing data consistent with that, including updated GPS positions, etc. but the airplane was actually tracking 065 at FL300, how quickly do you think a crew would notice? My bet is on "never".
Ok, so lets go with this scenario. For example, spoofing GPS is clearly possible since even Wikipedia lists several suspected and/or confirmed events. But the airplane has an IRU, and that I'm almost 100% certain is hack-proof! What happens if that and GPS deviates? I'm not even a pilot so I have no idea. The idea that someone could hack _all_ the instruments required to spoof altitude and position to the pilots, _from the ground_, still sounds insane to me.

As a service technician though with access to the hardware, that would be a completely different scenario. Is that whats meant by "from the ground" =)
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 19:42
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Gauges and Dials View Post
To pick one simple example: If the selected track and altitude were 045 and FL390, and *all* of the displays were all showing data consistent with that, including updated GPS positions, etc. but the airplane was actually tracking 065 at FL300, how quickly do you think a crew would notice? My bet is on "never".
OK, I'll bite. How many different, separate systems would need to be successfully hacked for all the flight deck systems to agree on the wrong heading and altitude with no warnings or indications? Oh, and don't you think ATC might notice ask what's going on, or are we going to hack ATC too?
Anyone who's that proficient at hacking would be too busy moving billions of dollars into their bank accounts to bother with hacking an aircraft...
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 19:53
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Gauges and Dials View Post
As for heading off somewhere you don't want to go, it's entirely feasible for an attacker to have your instruments telling you that you are on course to your selected destination when in fact something entirely different is actually happening.
No it isn't.

Apart from anything else, there is a backup instrument(s) that is completely independent of all other systems. A hacker cannot connect to it because there is nothing to connect to..

This is all complete and utter nonsense.
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 20:22
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by sandos View Post
Ok, so lets go with this scenario. For example, spoofing GPS is clearly possible since even Wikipedia lists several suspected and/or confirmed events. But the airplane has an IRU, and that I'm almost 100% certain is hack-proof! What happens if that and GPS deviates? I'm not even a pilot so I have no idea.
The FMS monitors the GPS, and takes it out of the loop if it deviates too much.
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 20:34
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BluSdUp View Post
Why are they doing a test on a B757, get an 787 and a A 350. All fly by wire.
The basic avionics systems are the same - in fact the 757 should be easier to hack given that some of the system architecture is less advanced.

My issue with these stories is that there is never any detail over what system has been 'hacked' and what this hack consists of. Getting into the on-board wifi and turning off the IFE system would be inconvenient (assuming you could even do that) but would have no effect on the operation of the aircraft.
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 21:13
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BAengineer View Post
The basic avionics systems are the same - in fact the 757 should be easier to hack given that some of the system architecture is less advanced..
Er, are you sure? My understanding of the 787 is that there is absolutely nothing similar to any earlier Boeing in its avionic system architecture.

The 757 is hard wired. No fly by wire, no ethernet, no fibre optics, and no wifi. The computers are individual units, not software within independent processor modules.

Neither can be hacked from the ground. Its hard enough trying to connect the damn maintenance laptop! Bring back the 777 MAT!
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 21:29
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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BAe
My point exactly.
I am not interested if my WW Bettle anno 1967, eeh sorry, My 737-800 can be hacked! I know I can always put the blue side up and go up and sort things out. Because it is basic, so is the 757. What is interesting to know is what can be done practically and theoretically with a modern Fly By Wire aircraft.
My guess is not much.
For example the IF entertainment system has no connection whatsoever to any other AC system.
Secondly.
Anyone that has ever visited the avionics Bay and are qualified to fly any modern plane, knows that we are always talking about 2+2!
Two channels working together and two more doing the same task , independently , comparing and voting out any " loony" channel.
The amount of boxes that has to be manipulated and coordinated and for a Hacker to fool all of them, Nahh , not happening from the outside!

With regards to an educated , undercover agent gaining access to the plane on the ground with damaging software , now that is also unlikely as it has to be pretty comprehensive and "professional" stuff.
There is several ways of doing that, but we shall not get into that shall we! A bit to paranoid and 007 that is, anyway.

A safe Departure and Arrival to all!
Cpt B
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 22:10
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BluSdUp View Post
What is interesting to know is what can be done practically and theoretically with a modern Fly By Wire aircraft.
My guess is not much.
For example the IF entertainment system has no connection whatsoever to any other AC system.
So the flight-tracking display on the IFE is powered by guesswork ?
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 22:56
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TURIN View Post
Er, are you sure? My understanding of the 787 is that there is absolutely nothing similar to any earlier Boeing in its avionic system architecture.

The 757 is hard wired. No fly by wire, no ethernet, no fibre optics, and no wifi. The computers are individual units, not software within independent processor modules.

Neither can be hacked from the ground. Its hard enough trying to connect the damn maintenance laptop! Bring back the 777 MAT!
I was talking about the basic systems - GPS, Autoflight, Weather Radar, Comms etc. They all operate in basically the same way using similar technology. the only real difference between something like an A380 and a B757 is that instead of multiple boxes you have a single 'mainframe' computer with all the functions contained within that one computer system.

As for FBW - well the B757 did have FBW (Spoilers), in fact I believe it was the first Boeing passenger aircraft to have FBW installed.
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 23:08
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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David

That is right Sir, just like Your posts!!
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 23:31
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BAengineer View Post
I was talking about the basic systems - GPS, Autoflight, Weather Radar, Comms etc. They all operate in basically the same way using similar technology. the only real difference between something like an A380 and a B757 is that instead of multiple boxes you have a single 'mainframe' computer with all the functions contained within that one computer system.

As for FBW - well the B757 did have FBW (Spoilers), in fact I believe it was the first Boeing passenger aircraft to have FBW installed.
No, they are not 'basically the same' - entirely different technologies, particularly in the area of system communications - communication being the pathway for a potential hack (unless were talking about someone physically loading hacked software on the ground via access to the ebay). The 757 communication is based on ARINC 429 - one way communication, hard wired, nearly impossible to hack since you need to be physically connected to a point-to-point one way data bus. I don't know much about the A380 avionics, but the 777 uses ARINC 629 - a 'serial' data bus, with multiple systems communicating with each other over a common bus - far from 'hack proof' - if you get into one system you can potentially affect multiple systems. Then again, the 777 has protections and firewalls to prevent such a thing. The 787 uses AFDX - an Ethernet based serial system where multiple systems communicate over the same bus (functionally similar to the 777 ARINC 629 but entirely different technology.

Like I said before, I'd pay more attention to this if the claims to date weren't so laughably false - reporters that write this garbage are easily fooled, but the people who know and work on these systems know better.
Now, if someone claimed to hack a 777 or a 787, I'd be interested in whatever evidence they have, since while there are protections in place, there is at least a theoretical possibility of hacking into an ARINC 629 or AFDX based communication system. But when their 'examples' are 757 and 737 - both ARINC 429 based aircraft - they are clearly talking out their rear ends.
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 23:56
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks TD.
This is why I find it slightly counter productive ,and not in any way calming for the general Public that Homeland Security or FBI or the likes feed this kind of BS to the press.
At least do a test on a modern aircraft.
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 00:20
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
No, they are not 'basically the same' - entirely different technologies, particularly in the area of system communications - communication being the pathway for a potential hack (unless were talking about someone physically loading hacked software on the ground via access to the ebay).

Well i am not going to get into an argument but the Inertial Navigation System on a 757 is an ADIRU containing a [email protected] ring gyro - which is the same technology as used in the 777. I totally agree that the way the system talks to each other is different but the basic system architecture for INS, GPS, ACARS etc etc is not that different.
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 15:10
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BAengineer View Post
Well i am not going to get into an argument but the Inertial Navigation System on a 757 is an ADIRU containing a [email protected] ring gyro - which is the same technology as used in the 777. I totally agree that the way the system talks to each other is different but the basic system architecture for INS, GPS, ACARS etc etc is not that different.
The subsystem architectures may not be different but the kind of cross checking that is done between ADIRU and GPS and GPS and Altimeters and so on is far more sophisticated. Not only that but the cross checking software is replicated in different processes sometimes written in different software to the same spec. All these duplexed and triplexed subsystems are designed to watch each other for mismatched outputs and out of specification behavior. This makes it very difficult for a hacker to proceed even in the extremely unlikely event that they manage to access one of these subsystems.
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 15:13
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ian W View Post
The subsystem architectures may not be different but the kind of cross checking that is done between ADIRU and GPS and GPS and Altimeters and so on is far more sophisticated. Not only that but the cross checking software is replicated in different processes sometimes written in different software to the same spec. All these duplexed and triplexed subsystems are designed to watch each other for mismatched outputs and out of specification behavior. This makes it very difficult for a hacker to proceed even in the extremely unlikely event that they manage to access one of these subsystems.

I totally agree with you - which is why I said earlier that in theory it should be easier to hack earlier generation aircraft. As far as we know that has never happened to any significant degree so I feel that the danger from some hacker in Moscow steering a passenger jet into a building is somewhat overblown.
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Old 17th Jun 2018, 15:15
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BAengineer View Post
Well i am not going to get into an argument but the Inertial Navigation System on a 757 is an ADIRU containing a [email protected] ring gyro - which is the same technology as used in the 777. I totally agree that the way the system talks to each other is different but the basic system architecture for INS, GPS, ACARS etc etc is not that different.
Disclaimer ..I have never worked in the aviation industry..
If the AFDX works like TTEthernet, Then it is theoretically possible to compromise the system by re-configuring the AFDX switches, this makes it possible to impersonate data from all ADIRU's from one node in the network.
The question is how good the safety related networks, are separated from other networks..
The QoS of AFDX, and especially TTEthernet can separate the traffic (i.e. safety and non safety related), but the safety case in the older IEC61508 only takes 'babbling nodes' and foreseeable misuse into account, not someone deliberately hacking the system.

Chrysler have had some problems separating the different networks, they even have a small CPU acting as a firewall between between two networks.
The problem is that it can be updated from the infotainment side.
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Old 17th Jun 2018, 15:27
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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BAENGineer. Look at the systems on a 787. There are two separate independent 'mainframes'. Either ccan be switched off by the crew.. Multiple channel independent software operating through multiple independent CPU Modules.
It ain't going to happen.
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Old 17th Jun 2018, 15:34
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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What ain't gonna happen?
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