A report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has warned aircraft could be vulnerable to having their computers hacked and remotely taken over by in-flight passenger wi-fi users.
GAO said that four security experts confirmed that if an aircraft’s wi-fi system shares the same wiring harness or router as its avionics system, then a passenger would be able to gain access to the avionics.
GAO also said that viruses emanating from websites visited by passengers could allow access to the on-board computer system through infected machines.
Smartphones and tablets in the cockpit were also cited as a potential danger, increasing the risk of the aircraft’s electronics being infected by a crew member.
An FAA official told GAO that additional security measures are needed to strengthen aircraft systems.