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FBI: researcher admitted to hacking plane in-flight, causing it to “climb”

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posted on May, 16 2015 @ 10:08 PM
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A newly-published search warrant application shows that an aviation computer security researcher told the FBI that he briefly took control of at least one commercial airliner. The warrant, which was filed in a federal court in New York state, was first published Friday by APTN, a Canadian news site.

According to the affidavit for the warrant application, the researcher, Chris Roberts, told the FBI that he:

connected to other systems on the airplane network after he exploited/gained access to, or "hacked" the [in-flight entertainment] system. He stated that he then overwrote code on the airplane’s Thrust Management Computer while aboard a flight. He stated that he successfully commanded the system he had accessed to issue the climb command. He stated that he thereby caused one of the airplane engines to climb resulting in a lateral or sideways movement of the plane during one of these flights. He also stated that he used Vortex software after compromising/exploiting or "hacking" the airplane’s networks. He used the software to monitor traffic from the cockpit system.

Since this incident, United has instituted a bug bounty program.

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In the bounty program


Bugs on onboard Wi-Fi, entertainment systems or avionics


Have to wonder what actually happened.




posted on May, 16 2015 @ 10:25 PM
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a reply to: roadgravel

"Hello, FAA? What the frack have I been telling you all along?"
edit on 16-5-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 10:29 PM
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great thread,
mark my words when the actual events
of 9/11 become known, it'll be the Canadians
that do it. This will bring us the liberty we somehow
forgot we had all along.

operation ruby slippers



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 10:34 PM
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Does it seem likely this man would be telling this to the FBI unless there is some truth and he is trying to make a deal to do a partial CYA?



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 10:35 PM
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Truly eye opening, I mean the reason to do such a thing surely can not override the absolute prohibition of doing it...or can it?


The head actually spins with the amount of twists this revelation could and probably will take.



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 10:42 PM
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According to the application, Roberts traveled from Denver to Chicago via United flight 1474 on April 15th, and when agents checked it, they found damage and evidence of tampering to the electronic system under his seat. On Twitter, Roberts has since claimed that no systems were harmed during the trip, and more recently, that discussion is "out of context." He told Wired in an interview that he had only ever tapped in to watch data traffic on airplanes, and while he believed such hacks were possible, he has only done them in a simulated environment.

Last month's arrest spurred warnings from the TSA and FBI to watch out for passengers trying to access internal networks. Now, while law enforcement sorts out the difference between theoretical and actual hacking, it may be a good idea to tuck in any loose network cables while going through security.

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posted on May, 16 2015 @ 10:47 PM
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The man might be under estimating the result of claiming this if it is not true.



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 10:52 PM
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The headline is not exactly accurate. The "hacker" did not admit do doing anything. He claimed to have done something.



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 11:13 PM
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I doubt, without special equipment, someone could communicate with the aircraft network. ARNIC 429 (isn't that what the 737 is built on) isn't your PC ethernet.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 12:14 AM
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Nope... Bs...



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 02:06 AM
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a reply to: Phage

Still quite interesting.....This scenario is not implausible,and quite scary really,even if it is only claimed that does not make the story any less believable .....



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 02:09 AM
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glass cockpit.....
let's go back in time to the good ole' days



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 02:13 AM
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a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed




This scenario is not implausible,and quite scary really,even if it is only claimed that does not make the story any less believable ...

Less than "not very" you mean?



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 02:20 AM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed




This scenario is not implausible,and quite scary really,even if it is only claimed that does not make the story any less believable ...

Less than "not very" you mean?




Well not exactly,seems believable to me with my limited computer knowledge...i take it you find it hard to believe ?



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 02:36 AM
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a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed

Yes. I do find it hard to believe.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 02:46 AM
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a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed

Interesting, yes.

Scary, not so much.

I guess some missed that to do what it is that he's been accused of doing requires the person to be on board the plane.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 03:02 AM
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a reply to: Chadwickus

So this is possible if the person is on board,ok so why then is it not possible to do the same hack wireless from the ground,or from say a satellite above ?



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 03:37 AM
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a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed

Because he supposedly hacked via an Ethernet cable.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 03:44 AM
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originally posted by: Chadwickus
a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed

Because he supposedly hacked via an Ethernet cable.





LOL......i missed that little important piece of information......hmmmph i may have another ale and kill some more brain cells as the ones i have seem to be misfiring ...



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 03:55 AM
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Admit or claim,..pfft , the proofs in the pudding. Im sure it can proven with a test hack. He claims he did it, and if he does demonstrate through a controlled test its possible wont that open a can of worms on things like Mh370.



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