Hacker Shows How to Take Full Control of an Airplane with a Smartphone

In this 2013 video, a hacker shows how to take “full control” of an airplane using a Smartphone app.

Think #AirAsia

Think #Germanwings

VIDEO: Want to control the plane you’re flying on? Don’t worry – there’s an app for that.

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The Many Uses of a Hacked Computer

The graphic below shows in excellent detail how a compromised personal computer can yield a variety of spoiled fruit for the hacker.

Created and published by Brian Krebs (link) the illustration captures the many ways a hacked pc can result in fraud, extortion, blackmail and libel. And that is the point Krebs wants to make. Hacking is no small thing.

The Scrap Value of a Hacked PC

 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE BY BRIAN KREBS HERE.

API Tool Reveals Location of Millions of Cell Phone Users

LocationSmart, a Southern California company, is under scrutiny by the Federal Communications Commission for a service which provides the location of cell phone users.

Those affected included anyone who is connected to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon. The potential invasion of privacy was worsened when it was reported that its demo tool gave access to anyone without determining whether the user was using the service for legitimate purposes.

The LocationSmart demo is no longer available. The matter has been referred to the enforcement arm of the FCC for review.

MORE HERE, HERE and HERE


 

U.S. Senate Proposals on Cyber Defense 06-20-2000

In this vintage Senate session from June 20, 2000, senators debated the Defense Authorization bill and monies for a cyber warning system among other matters.

Republican Sen. John Warner introduced Amendment No. 3477 which would set aside $20,000,000 for the Joint Technology Information Center Initiative; and to offset that amount by reducing the amount provided for cyber attack sensing and warning under the information systems security program by $20,000,000.

The bulk of the debate was consumed with U.S. foreign policy toward Cuba and bankruptcy reform. Also discussed were initiatives on abortion and hate crimes. See former senators Joe Biden (D-Delaware), Bob Graham (D-Florida), Jesse Helms R-North Carolina), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and a younger Patty Murray (D-Washington).

This occurred during the second Clinton administration.

WATCH THE FULL C-SPAN VIDEO HERE

Panel on Cyber Security Threats, 06-19-2000

In the year 2000, the American Enterprise Institute sponsored a panel discussion on cyber attacks and national security. Panelists included Richard Clarke, who represented the USG as Coordinator National Security Council, Infrastructure Protection and Counterterrorism, along with private individuals. The conversation included questions about the responsibility of the government versus the private sector in combating these threats.

 

SEE THE C-SPAN VIDEO OF THE HEARING HERE

Cyber Security News Conference: 01-22-1999

Cyber security has been a topic of discussion for the US government for nearly two decades. Perhaps the first time this was identified as a national security threat came during the Clinton administration.

Richard Clarke, a former special assistant at the National Security Council, together with Janet Reno, the former Attorney General, hosted a 1999 news conference to announce an official program designed to offset threats of chemical, biological and cyber terrorism.

SEE THE 1999 NEWS CONFERENCE HERE.

Congressional Cyber Security Hearing: 11-16-2016

Two Congressional subcommittees held a hearing on the Internet of Things (IOT) and cyber security on 16 November 2016. Called by Democratic members, the committee explored the massive internet outage of 21 October 2016.

Guests included the chief security officer from Level 3 and other experts on IOT and cyber vulnerabilities.

SEE THE VIDEO HERE

READ ABOUT THE INTERNET OUTAGE ON 21 OCTOBER 2016 HERE, HERE and HERE.

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US-CERT Alert: Russian Cyber Attacks Against Critical US Infrastructure

Since at least March 2016, Russian government cyber actors—hereafter  referred to as “threat actors”—targeted government entities and multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing  sectors.”

TA18-074A is an ominous alert from the country’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) that documents successful efforts by Russian actors to infiltrate our critical infrastructure as seen in the excerpt above. Continue reading

EgyptAir MS804 Loss Still A Mystery

The loss of EgyptAir Flight MS804, which disappeared a year ago over the Mediterranean, killing all 66 aboard, is still a mystery. The current working theory is that the pilot’s iPad or smart phone overheated and caused an explosion in the cockpit area.

The original reports by Greek aviation officials told of dramatic “swerving” moments before the plane left radar. Those reports were first denied by the head of Egypt’s air navigation and then confirmed. Egyptian authorities next claimed that evidence of explosive material was found on the remains of passengers. That theory was subsequently disproved.

Various other possibilities have been floated including a fire on board, issues with the plane’s computer or electrical system, a bomb or an explosion caused by a lithium battery. Continue reading

The Airbus A320

The Airbus A320 is without a doubt the most popular plane in the A320 “family” with over 11,500 orders as of February 2015. The  parent company calls it “the undisputed leader in the single-aisle category” of passenger planes and those numbers bear out that claim.

Often described as a “workhorse” the A320 is akin to that old car that keeps on going despite the years.  And like that old car, it serves as a means of frugal transport, providing budget air travel on mostly short hops, for carriers all over the world.

Most of the major carriers and many of the smaller airlines use the Airbus A320. Airbus keeps an ongoing spreadsheet of its customers as well as a handy dandy map, showing location and quantity. The largest concentration is located in Europe (113), followed by the continent of Africa (62). Both France and Germany are home to Airbus manufacturing facilities.