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Hackers say coming air traffic control system lets them hijack planes

January 11, 2013 1 comment

Posted on January 11, 2013 by Akashma Online News

GPS Hijacking Catches Feds, Drone Makers Off Guard

Source CSOonline

by Taylor Armerding

UPDATED by Marivel Guzman

When Iran brought down the US drones, their specialist insisted that Iran had hijacked the GPS system of the drones making with this outmaneuvers easy to drive down the drone without damage the computer system. Now we started to understand how easy is to divert planes, to drive planes onto buildings, or simply to highjack their computer systems.
Some conspiracy theories circulated on the internet circles about the remote control of the planes that crashed the Twin towers in New York in 2011, now does not look that hard, does it?

If a teenager can hijack a Multi Billion dollars system, imagine what an specialist trained on software field for years can do?

Years earlier the Israeli Michael Goff working for PTech, an Arab owned software company that develops key enterprise software for many government institutions like NORAD and FAA, using his secure channel with another israeli Amit Yoran, somehow manages to give Israeli army computer programmers access to this critical computer code. It was due to this manipulation that the hijackings on 9/11 remained unnoticed by the flight controller of NORAD. Once this was in place the planes could be taken over by remote control and flown into the World Trade Center. How 911 was done

An ongoing multibillion-dollar overhaul of the nation’s air traffic control (ATC) system is designed to make commercial aviation more efficient, more environmentally friendly and safer by 2025.

But some white-hat hackers are questioning the safety part. The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) will rely on Global Positioning Systems (GPS) instead of radar. And so far, several hackers have said they were able to demonstrate the capability to hijack aircraft by spoofing their GPS components.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has declared that it already has multiple measures to detect fake signals. But it has so far not allowed any independent testing of the system.

On June 19, when University of Texas researchers successfully hijacked a drone by “spoofing” it — giving it bad GPS coordinates – they showed the Department of Homeland Security how civilian drones could fall into the wrong hands, exposing a potentially serious security flaw. It was exactly what Todd Humphreys, the lead researcher, anticipated in a TEDx talk in February: “You can scarcely imagine the kind of havoc you could cause if you knew what you were doing with a GPS spoofer.” July 20, 2012

The hacking exploits are not new. National Public Radio’s “All Tech Considered” reported last August that Brad Haines, a Canadian computer consultant known online as “RenderMan,” noted that the radio signals aircraft will send out to mark their identity and location under NextGen, called automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), were both unencrypted and unauthenticated.

By spoofing those signals, Haines said he could create fake “ghost planes.”

“If I can inject 50 extra flights onto an air traffic controller’s screen, they are not going to know what is going on,” he told NPR. “If you could introduce enough chaos into the system – for even an hour – that hour will ripple though the entire world’s air traffic control.”

Haines presented his findings at the Defcon hacking conference in Las Vegas last summer

Then there is the group of researchers from the University of Texas that successfully hijacked a civilian drone at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico during a test organized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last summer.

The system used to hijack the drone cost about $1,000. The NextGen program is expected to cost taxpayers $27 billion, plus another $10 billion spent by the commercial aviation industry.

In a third case, NPR reported that Andrei Costin, a Romanian graduate student in France, was able to build a software-defined radio hooked to a computer that created fake ADS-B signals in a lab. It cost him about $2,000. Costin made a presentation at last summer’s Black Hat conference.

Paul Rosenzweig, founder of Red Branch Law & Consulting and a former deputy assistant secretary for policy at DHS, wrote in a post last week on Lawfare that this amounts to the FAA continuing to dig itself into a deeper hole. One problem, he wrote, is that the eventual goal is to eliminate radar, which is inefficient because it requires planes to fly on designated radar routes.

“But the hardware for radar broadcasting and reception can’t (that I know of) be spoofed,” he wrote. “Today, when planes fly using GPS they ‘double check’ their location with radar. [But] the entire plan behind NextGen is to eventually get rid of the radar system — an expensive 20th century relic, I guess. But then we are completely dependent on GPS for control.”

[See also: Insecure industrial control systems, hacker trends prompt federal warnings]

The FAA told NPR that besides confirming ADS-B signals with radar, the NextGen system will automatically check to make sure the correct receivers are picking up the correct signals. If a “ghost plane” is sending a signal to the wrong receiver, it would be spotted as fake. Third, it will use a technique called “multilateration” to determine exactly where every ADS-B signal is sent from.

Nick Foster, a partner of Brad Haines, praised the use of multilateration. “But I still wonder if it would be possible to fool the system on the edges,” he told NPR. “I think the FAA should open it up and let us test it.”

The risks of GPS hacks extend beyond aviation. Logan Scott, a GPS industry consultant, told Wired magazine last year [http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/07/drone-hijacking/2/] that GPS is also used to control the power grid, to power banking operations including ATMs and to keep oil platforms in position. The world’s cellular networks also rely on it.

And given that it is free, unauthenticated and unencrypted makes it vulnerable. “The core problem is that we’ve got a GPS infrastructure which is based on a security architecture out of the 1970s,” Scott said.

Not everybody sees the GPS vulnerability as a major safety problem, however. Martin Fisher is now director of information security at Wellstar Health System, but worked previously in commercial aviation for 14 years. He said radar will still be around, even when the transition to NextGen is complete.

“Don’t for a moment believe there won’t be radar anymore,” he said. “Commercial aircraft will still have anti-collision radar and proximity alarms.”

Beyond that, he said, “do not make the assumption that the pilots flying your aircraft simply follow the instructions of ATC like automatons. These are very highly trained men and women with years of experience flying day, night, good weather, bad weather.”

Paul Rosenzweig said he would still be much more comfortable if the FAA would allow the system to be “stress tested.”

Whatever bugs are in the system, there may be more than 12 years available to fix them. The Washington Post reported in September that Calvin L. Scovel III, inspector general for the Department of Transportation, told a House subcommittee that the program was “four years behind schedule and $330 million over budget.”

The Trojan Horse than landed in Iran – Drones are Spies on the air, steel birds that fly at low altitude and can pick up signals of conversations from cell phones, cordless phones, digital radios, digital TV’s sets and they have the capabilities to take images using infrared technology, and snap pictures as small a few pixels, this amazing and surprising disturbing technology that have taken away the peace of mind, sleep and every bit of privacy to the citizens of the world. These steel birds  have the spies agencies  and best reverse engineers (theives) of the world fighting each other for the software and hardware blue prints.

Cyber criminals could increasingly look to attack, hijack smartphones in 2013 (Yahoo Security) – Some cyber criminals who disseminate viruses and malware in attempts to hijack computers are beginning to shift their focus. Your smartphone may be their next target. PC users have learned to be constantly vigilant to the threat of viruses, which attack relentlessly, slow down computers and potentially put valuable personal information at risk. Windows computers will continue to be targeted going forward but cyber thieves are casting a wider net in the hunt for digital prey.

Read more about access control in CSOonline’s Access Control section.

Related Stories

Using a laptop, a small antenna and an electronic GPS “spoofer” built for $3,000, GPS expert Todd Humphreys and his team at the University of Texas took control of the sophisticated navigation system aboard an $80 million, 210-foot super-yacht in the Mediterranean Sea.

“We injected our spoofing signals into its GPS antennas and we’re basically able to control its navigation system with our spoofing signals,” Humphreys told Fox News. http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/07/26/exclusive-gps-flaw-could-let-terrorists-hijack-ships-planes/

Full-length AE911Truth Documentary Now Available: 9/11: Explosive Evidence — Experts Speak Out


Posted on September 10, 2011 by Marivel Guzman

Announcement
Full-length AE911Truth Documentary Now Available:
9/11: Explosive Evidence — Experts Speak Out

Attention AE911Truth Supporters!

We have completed the Pre-Release Edition (v1.2) of our documentary “9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out”. Please visit the dedicated website for the DVD in order to learn more about the film at 911ExpertsSpeakOut.org. You will be able to watch the film online, download it and make a DVD, or purchase the DVD from our online store.

Ron Brookman, SE, is one of the many experts interviewed

“9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out” — Pre-Release Edition
Statement from Richard Gage, AIA

Founder, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth

Welcome to our Pre-Release Edition of “9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out” – where we are partnering with you to complete this important film with sufficient quality to maximize its effect in informing and enlightening professionals and the general public worldwide about this critical evidence regarding the destruction of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers.

AE911Truth is encouraged by the excitement surrounding this new milestone documentary. Now is the time for all responsible professionals to speak out about the scientific forensic evidence that has been hidden and distorted by officials tasked with reporting the facts – yet discovered and disseminated by thousands of truth seekers around the world with no axes to grind.

Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth now number over 1,500 technical and building professionals, 43 of whom are doing just that in this film – speaking out about the deep flaws in the official story.

This is a time that calls for courage – and we applaud these professionals for their bold choice to participate in this documentary.

The film was inspired two years ago by our video team member, Marty McGee of Buffalo, NY, who pressed forward with this vision by flying around the country on a 24-stop route to videotape the experts.

Over one hundred hours of remarkable testimony was distilled into this documentary. However, we’ve already posted a dozen full-length interviews on our website and plan to publish them all for you by the end of the year.

Our film editors Francis Battaglia, Chuck Smith, and Mike Green have scrupulously worked the edited transcripts of the interviews into the refined video narrative. Their work is not yet complete – and you can help. In addition to the credentialed technical professionals who speak so clearly about the evidence, we have also asked experts with understanding of the human mind to assist us with their insights into the psychological issues confronting those who are facing the disturbing implications of the 9/11 evidence. This section of the film should be quite helpful in your personal attempts to inform your family, friends, and colleagues. The Pre-Release Edition does not yet include this key section’s powerful supporting imagery. Stay tuned for the final release in October.

Family members of 9/11 victims provide a moving conclusion with their heartfelt calls for a new investigation.

This new documentary differs substantially from our “9/11: Blueprint for Truth” DVD, which has been a mainstay for years in presenting the WTC evidence. No longer is it just “Richard Gage, AIA” presenting in seeming isolation. I am now joined by dozens of highly credentialed technical professionals. And the calls for justice from family members put to rest the objection that our work offends them, and should help melt the denial of this evidence in even the most hardened observers.

This Pre-Release Edition brings our effort to the point where we invite your constructive feedback to help us complete this important work. We are very interested in your comments on content, length, editing, music, photos, video, and missing graphics. Is there too much repetition? Which crucial points have been left out? (Note that we cannot record additional interviews or add to the ones that we have.) Please comment at 911ExpertsSpeakOut.org.

We found that a film like this cannot be completed with only an all-volunteer team. Services and fees are involved, and we need your financial support to carry us through the final phase. The DVD and online sales cover only a portion of the costs incurred in this enormous effort. If this film inspires you, please make your tax-deductible donation today to AE911Truth – a tax-exempt nonprofit 501(c)3 educational charity. Every penny counts! Please visit us online at AE911Truth.org.

We hope that you enjoy the documentary, and that you will show it to as many people as you can during the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, and beyond..

We all volunteers trying to uncover the truth of what really happen on September 11, 2011 when 3000 died in New York, be part of the efforts, donate your time, your efforts, or make a financial donation. You will be part of history, The truth must prevail.

Watch the Trailer and join our efforts to disseminate  this documentary that will lead us to find the truth and the culprits of the 911 Crime of the century

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