Remote controlled ‘Die Hard 2 airport attack’ might soon become real aviation threat: Expert

Beijing, Apr 4: Renny Harlin's fiction movie 'Die Hard 2' could soon become a reality in the near future, with a report saying that aeroplanes could be taken over by remote control and forced to crash with the use of newly invented computer software.

Cyber attacks are now viewed by experts as the second-biggest risk to aviation behind natural disasters.

Addressing the Asia-Pacific Aviation Security Conference in Hong Kong attended by representatives from Qantas, Virgin Airlines, and others, cyber-security expert Ty Miller from Pure Hacking said that 'whole fleets of planes could be affected.'

"The stereotypical Die Hard 2 airport attack, where aircraft controls can be taken over, is no longer just a movie script. It's an actual reality. Depending on what information was accessed... the control of the aircraft themselves could be compromised," quoted Miller, as saying.

"You could deal with planes so that when they're in the air they all of a sudden start dumping all of their fuel, or force the planes to take a nose-dive. And it's not necessarily one plane - it could be a whole fleet of planes," he added.

Miller's firm engages in "ethical hacking", which involves testing the security of a network by trying to crack its systems.

Citing the Stuxnet worm incident, where an unknown attacker had used the software to sabotage one of Iran's uranium enrichment plants last year, Miller said that the culprits would have had access to intelligence to 'conduct several multi-staged attacks on a number of different companies to perform industrial espionage.'

"To compromise the avionics of an aircraft, hackers would have to have the same level of information and potentially need to hack into Boeing, the specific airline and the airport systems," he added.

Copyright Asian News International/