Mar 26, 2012

Hi Jacker Hacker?

Some new 'widgets' are being proposed to prevent hijacking....

Of course the one greatest vulnerability of this system might be the ability of a "hi jacker hacker" (I think I just coined a new term!?:), to break into the system itself and take over the aircraft electronically!

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http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeing-autopilot-would-seize-back-control-from-hijackers-210923

A new autopilot will make another 9/11 impossible.

How 'Autoland' will work.

A hijack-proof piloting system for airliners is being developed to prevent terrorists repeating the 9/11 outrages.

The mechanism is designed to make it impossible to crash the aircraft into air or land targets - and enable the plane to be flown by remote control from the ground in the event of an emergency.

Scientists at aircraft giant Boeing are testing the tamper-proof autopilot system which uses state-of-the-art computer and satellite technology.It will be activated by the pilot flicking a simple switch or by pressure sensors fitted to the cockpit door that will respond to any excessive force as terrorists try to break into the flight deck.

Once triggered, no one on board will be able to deactivate the system.

Currently, all autopilots are manually switched on and off at the discretion of pilots.

The so-called 'uninterruptible autopilot system' - patented secretly by Boeing in the US last week - will connect ground controllers and security services with the aircraft using radio waves and global satellite positioning systems.After it has been activated, the aircraft will be capable of remote digital control from the ground, enabling operators to fly it like a sophisticated model plane, maneuvering it vertically and laterally.

A threatened airliner could be flown to a secure military base or a commercial airport, where it would touch down using existing landing aids known as 'Autoland function'.After it had landed, the aircraft's built-in auto brake would bring the plane safely to a halt on the runway.

Boeing insiders say the new anti-hijack kit could be fitted to airliners all over the world, including those in the UK, within the next three years.

The latest move to combat airline terrorists follows The Mail on Sunday's disclosure three weeks ago that scientists in Britain and Germany are developing a passenger-monitoring device.

This will use tiny cameras linked to specialist computers to record every twitch, blink, facial expression or suspicious movement made on board flights in order to identify potential terrorists.

A Boeing spokesman said : "We are constantly studying ways we can enhance the safety, security and efficiency of the world's airline fleet.

"There is a need in the industry for a technique that conclusively prevents unauthorized persons gaining access to the controls and threatening the safety of passengers.

"Once this system is initiated, no one on board is capable of controlling the flight, making it useless for anyone to threaten violence in order to gain control."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

6 comments:

Code Dad said...

The article you linked to is 6 years old, but this is the first I've heard of this patent. As you stated though, my biggest concern would be someone hacking the system.

I'm sure if this patent gained traction there'd be some push back from the pilots too, because auto-land is one step closer to UAV. I'd imagine the automatic landing and 'remote control' from the ground require similar, if not the same, hardware as that used in UAVs.

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James David said...

That would be nice if that security system will be available on airlines all over the globe. This blogs is so informative and the topic is timely for aviation. The technology that Boeing has been developing is a must for the safety of everyone taking the flight. Thanks for this significant write-up.

James David teaches people how to buy single engine airplanes & has a passion for the Cessna 177

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Clive said...

So a cabin crew member stumbles into the flight deck door for some reason maybe a sudden bit of turbulence, which starts the FMS procedure so neither captain or first officer can stop whatever that procedure is, sounds like there could be a disaster in the making to me.