The US system for guiding airplanes is open to vulnerabilities from outside hackers, the Government Accountability Office said Monday. The weaknesses that threaten the Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to ensure the safety of flights include the failure to patch known three-year-old security holes, the transmission and storage of unencrypted passwords, and the continued use of “end-of-life” key servers.
The GAO said that deficiencies in the system that monitors some 2,850 flights at a time has positioned the air traffic system into an “increased and unnecessary risk of unauthorized access, use or modification that could disrupt air traffic control operations.” What’s more, the report said the FAA “did not always ensure that sensitive data were encrypted when transmitted or stored.” That information included stored passwords and “authentication data.”
Among the findings:
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