© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in Chicago, in this April 24, 2013 photo. REUTERS / Jim Young
By James Pearson
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – A digital vulnerability in a computer system used on some Boeing (NYSE:Co) planes could allow malicious hackers to modify data and cause pilots to perform dangerous actions. Dangerous miscalculation has been corrected, security researchers said Friday.
Older versions of a digital tool used to calculate landing and take-off speeds on some aircraft could be spoofed by hackers with direct access to the “Electronic Flight Bag” or EFB, a tablet device used by pilots for flight planning, cybersecurity firm Pen Test Partners said in a report.
“If data modification occurs and the resulting miscalculations go undetected during the crew checks or mandatory cross-verification, the aircraft may land on too short a runway or take off. at incorrect speeds could result in a tail or runway collision,” said the report, presented at the DEF CON hacker conference in Las Vegas on Friday.
In a statement, Boeing said it is not aware of any aircraft affected by the issue, but has released a software update to address the issue.
“The likelihood of this affecting flight safety is extremely low,” said Alex Lomas, a security consultant at Pen Test Partners. “Pilots are trained to handle unusual situations.”