Bet 615

Duration 10 years (02011-02021)

“A commercial airliner will be destroyed by terrorists hacking the software of either the aircraft or an external system such as air traffic control.”

Roderick Jones


Jones's Argument

Aircraft are increasingly reliant on software to function. Security around individual parts of these systems is high but the software to run some functions is rudimentary and easily exploitable. The ability to infiltrate malicious code into the aircraft via passengers, maintenance staff or even remotely seems simple. Defensive security is all focussed on the last attack and takes no account of the real technical vulnerabilities produced by increasingly complex flight systems, which are not designed to work together with regard to security. The problems of complexity also exist at the air-traffic control level and malicious attacks could similarly be attempted there.

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