Hackers can turn plane hijackers

A new breed of cyber terrorists has the capability of breaking into a plane’s sophisticated onboard computer systems forcing it to crash, a new security document has warned.  They could also target critical infrastructure such as nuclear power stations and electricity supplies, reports the Daily Mail. These hackers can be engaged by terror cells and foreign states to cause maximum damage, British PM David Cameron’s long-awaited National Security Strategy report said. The cyber threat makes it possible for a potential hijacker to carry out his attack without boarding the plane.

Officials confirmed that these computer-generated assaults, which involve individuals creating software viruses or rogue computer programs and emails, could bring down passenger planes. “We do not want to wait until planes are falling out of the skies before the address the issue,” an official said. Attacks in cyberspace can have a potentially devastating real-world effect, the document said, adding that military, industrial and economic targets, including critical services, could feasibly be disrupted by a capable adversary.

The British government is not the only one to identify cyber attacks as a problem. Last year, the Australian government set up a Computer Emergency Response Team as a single contact point on cyber security issues. It has received attention in the US as well.

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