Remote-Control Airplane Software
Does anyone other than me see a problem with this?
Some 30 European businesses and research institutes are working to create software that would make it possible from a distance to regain control of an aircraft from hijackers, according to the German news magazine.
The system "which could only be controlled from the ground would conduct the aircraft posing a problem to the nearest airport whether it liked it or not," according to extracts from next Monday's Der Spiegel released Saturday.
"A hijacker would have no chance of reaching his goal," it said.
Unless his goal were, um, hijacking the aircraft.
It seems to me that by designing remote-control software for airplanes, you open the possibility for someone to hijack the plane without even being on board. Sure, there are going to be computer-security controls protecting this thing, but we all know how well that sort of thing has worked in the past.
The system would be designed in such a way that even a computer hacker on board could not get round it.
But what about computer hackers on the ground?
I'm not saying this is a bad idea; it might be a good idea. But this security countermeasure opens up an entirely new vulnerability, and I hope that someone is studying that new vulnerability.
Posted on July 28, 2006 at 2:09 PM • 106 Comments