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OH… BY THE WAY: IT’S OFFICIAL: AIRPLANES CAN BE REMOTELY ...

Mr. F.L.M. and Mr. M.B. found this story and passed it along, and it's worth pausing to ponder the implications of this one for a while. It seems a U.S. government hacker working for the Reichsicherheithauptamt....er.... the Department of Homeland  (In)security hacked into a Boeing 757 on the runway:

Boeing 757 controls hacked remotely while on the runway, officials reveal

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5077043/Boeing-757-controls-remotely-HACKED-runway.html

Now, why is this story worth mentioning at all?

Well, for one thing, there is the strange case of the missing Malaysia Air Flight 370, which still remains very strange. For one thing, in spite of years of searches for the missing aircraft, the crash site has still not been found, and the "debris" that has been washing up in the western Indian Ocean has been, at best, suspect, as a number of readers here who are pilots have informed me. In any case, one theory that was advanced quite early on after Flight 370's disappearance is that the airplane was taken over remotely and flown - or crashed - to "wherever." This hack is, of course, being spun in the usual and predictable way:

Mr Hickey said that following testing, experts advised that “it was no big deal”.

But in March 2017 he was shocked to learn that seven airline pilot captains from American Airlines and Delta Air Lines had no idea that their aircraft could be hacked.

A Boeing spokesman said: “The Boeing Company has worked closely for many years with DHS, the FAA, other government agencies, our suppliers and customers to ensure the cybersecurity of our aircraft and will continue to do so.

“Boeing observed the test referenced in the Aviation Today article, and we were briefed on the results. We firmly believe that the test did not identify any cyber vulnerabilities in the 757, or any other Boeing aircraft.”

Reading between the lines a bit, what appears to be being said here is "don't worry, nothing to see here; the pilots remained in control of the aircraft, move along." But if my memory serves me correctly, a number of years ago, after 9/11, Lufthansa  did an overhaul of their fleet for precisely the purpose of removing potential backdoors that would allow their aircraft to be "hacked' and presumably flown from "outside the aircraft." But whether my memory on this score is the case or not, the potential of this article is rather obvious, for the implication is that control of the planes could be wrestled away from the cockpit crew and done remotely.

Which brings us of course to 9/11. Many 9/11 researchers, myself among them, have pointed out the difficulty of Hani Hanjour's maneuver of allegedly flying a Boeing commercial aircraft into the Pentagon, after having executed a difficult down-ward spiraling turn. As many 9/11 researchers have pointed out, Hanjour's flight instructors indicated that he could barely fly a Cessna, much less a commercial airliner in such a difficult maneuver through the high-rises of Arlington Virgnia, which one former pilot described as "an obstacle course."

That former pilot, incidentally, was former Egyptian President Hosni Moubarek, a former pilot for Egypt's commercial airline and former military pilot. Moubarek made his statements shortly after the events of 9.11 during interviews on American television.

All these considerations led some individuals to propose that Hanjour's flight was coopted remotely, and that narrative was extended to the hijackers who allegedly flew the planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade center.

Then, of course, the theory was denounced as a "conspiracy theory" and experts were duly produced to contest the idea.

Now, however, it appears that hacking an airliner is possible, and with that possibility, the potential of commandeering the control of the craft reenters the picture.

The real questions are, why would the Reichsicherheithauptamt be conducting such a study in the first place? And why would it be admitted now? What has changed?

See you on the flip side...

24 thoughts on “ OH… BY THE WAY: IT’S OFFICIAL: AIRPLANES CAN BE REMOTELY ...”

  1. I was under the impression that as far back at 1999, an Israeli company was selling equipment to commercial airports that would allow trained air traffic folks to take control of an airplane in a hijacking situation. Am I wrong about that?

  2. USATODAY Published 5:09 p.m. ET May 16, 2015

    SAN FRANCISCO — A computer security expert hacked into a plane’s in-flight entertainment system and made it briefly fly sideways by telling one of the engines to go into climb mode.

    Chris Roberts of One World Labs in Denver was flying on the plane at the time it turned sideways, according to an FBI search warrant filed in April.

    The warrant was first publicized on Friday by APTN, a Canadian News Service.

    Roberts told the FBI he had hacked into planes “15 to 20 times,” according to court documents first made public Friday.

    Roberts first made news in April when he was told he couldn’t fly on United Airlines because of tweets he had made about whether he could hack into the flight’s onboard computer settings.

    Computer security expert blocked from flight after tweets

    The FBI search warrant describes him doing just that.

    According to the document, in an interview on Feb. 13, 2015, Roberts told agents he had hacked into in-flight entertainment centers on Boeing 737s, 757s and Airbus A-320 aircraft “15 to 20 times.”

    The warrant describes how Roberts would wiggle and squeeze the Seat Electronic Box under his seat, which connected to the plane’s in-flight entertainment system, or IFE.

    He would then connect a cable to the box and connect it to his computer. From there, Roberts was able to hack into the plane’s IFE system using default IDs and passwords.

    He overwrote computer code for the planes’ thrust management computer, which he told agents allowed him to make the plane climb on his command.

    At least once, according to the document, he told one engine on a plane to climb, causing the plane to move sideways as it flew.

    Roberts also used software to monitor traffic from the cockpit, according to the search warrant request.

    Roberts is a well-known and respected expert on computer security. He told the FBI he was furnishing the information “because he would like the vulnerabilities fixed.”

    APRIL 15 POSSIBLE TAMPERING

    FBI agents had spoken with Roberts several times, according to the document. They told him that accessing an airplane network without authorization was a violation of federal statues.

    Roberts told them he understood and that he would not hack into any more airplanes, according to the document.

    On April 15, Roberts flew United from Denver to Chicago. On the flight, he tweeted about the possibility of accessing the plane’s In Flight Entertainment system.

    The FBI sent an agent to inspect the flight when it arrived in Philadelphia, where it had flown after Chicago.

    The agent inspected the Seat Electronic Box below seats 2A and 2B and found evidence of damage and tampering.

    Roberts flew from Chicago to Syracuse, N.Y. When he arrived, FBI agents took him into custody and seized as digital evidence his computer, hard drives and other gear he had with him.

    The search warrant application was for permission to search Roberts’ computer gear.

    Roberts has not been charged with any crimes.

    Requests for comment from the FBI, United Airlines and Roberts’ company produced no immediate response.

  3. The comments here by people with professional knowledge are very interesting. As a non-expert, my question is, could remote interference be hypothetically possible due to “need to know” aspects incorporated in the aircraft and not revealed in the manuals and training courses, as has already happened in the German case some years back.
    Quite apart from more “out-there” speculations such as “tractor beams” and so on.

      1. In many of the fiction novels I read, that’s how access is achieved by the “good” guys thwarting the “bad” guys.
        That’s why I got a kick out of your post/it’s sooo true.

  4. We need more detail about exactly what “hacking” the flight control system is. I fly the Boeing 757 and 767 and the flight control system is not electronic at all, but rather mechanical and hydraulic. The auto pilot system is certainly electrical, but there we have a big switch which mechanically cuts power to the auto pilot control servos. There isn’t any software on a 757/767 you can hack that will take control of the airplane away from the pilots.

    1. Yep, for “Boeing 757 and 767 … the flight control system is not electronic at all, but rather mechanical and hydraulic.” True, and I like it that way. (Ex-Boeing engineer.)

      However, except for scale, that FCS has the same properties as the Boeing 747: mechanical and hydraulic. Why would Lufthansa pull the Boeing-supplied “flight directors” (see comment below, which originally came from an official Wikipedia page now consigned to oblivion) and replace them with home-grown versions, if pilots (including hijackers) could disable the ‘sanctioned’ take-over by throwing “a big switch which mechanically cuts power to the auto pilot control servos” and then flying wherever they chose? Why bother?

      The whole point to a ‘sanctioned’ take-over of an aircraft is to make it impossible for ANY flight crew to regain control of an aircraft. We do indeed need to understand whether there are some ‘sanctioned’ changes which truly circumvent the “flight directors” from being disabled by flight crews. Lufthansa thought so…

  5. (Rolls up sleeves…) There are several levels of subtlety here:

    First, aircraft flight control systems are (naturally) deemed flight-critical, and are kept on a different level of security within an aircraft than the in-flight entertainment systems and such. I do not remember whether that is on physically-separate computers, or only a ‘firewall’ separation. Also, I’m not sure where a radio falls on that divide. There may or may not be a way to ‘penetrate’ through the lower-security side. It has already been demonstrated that you can take-over a car’s (electronic) throttle, brakes, and sometimes steering through the car’s wifi connections. (See Michael Hasting’s ‘crash’.)

    Second, there is the sanctioned, government-side ‘hack’ into the Boeing (and likely Airbus) autopilot system as an anti-hijack tool. This includes full take-over and course-determination ability, for you 9/11 and MH370 buffs. And yes, this was exactly why Lufthansa pulled-out and scrapped it’s Boeing-supplied Certified autopilots and spent multi-millions Certifying its own, home-grown autopilots. It created quite an uproar at the time:

    http://www.economist.com/node/21647504/comments
    (comment by “readpigg” on Apr 6th 2015, 07:44)
    During early 1995, Boeing sales experienced an unconnected but serious internal problem in Europe, though the details were never made public. The German flag carrier Lufthansa discovered that its new Boeing 747-400 aircraft had been fitted with flight directors [auto-pilots] that were vulnerable to American remote-control, ostensibly designed to “recover” hijacked aircraft whether the hijackers wanted to be recovered or not. Lufthansa was not informed about this “free extra” in advance, and was furious that its sovereign aircraft might be covertly “rescued” by America, without the knowledge or permission of the German Government.

    “In a mammoth operation rumored to cost in excess of $800 million, Lufthansa stripped every flight director out of every Boeing in its fleet, replacing them in total with German systems programmed by the Luftwaffe [German Air Force]. According to a member of the German internal security service in Frankfurt during October 1996, all Lufthansa aircraft had by that date been secured, rendering them invulnerable to remote flight director commands transmitted by any and all American authorities. Under the new intelligence protocols, Russia and France were made aware of these flight director risks.”
    (repositioned)
    The Boeing Honeywell Uninterruptible Autopilot is a set of sub-routines aimed at defeating attempts at aircraft hijacking by removing electrical power from an aircraft’s flight deck, and irrevocably passing pilot authority to the autopilot and navigational computer for an automated landing at a safe airfield that can deal effectively with the incident.

    In 2005, avionics supplier, Honeywell, was reported to be talking to both Boeing and Airbus about fitting a device aimed at preventing a 9/11-style hijack. On 16 April 2003, Honeywell filed patent US7475851 B2, ‘Method and apparatus for preventing an unauthorized flight of an aircraft’. Airbus, and BAE Systems, had been working on the project with Honeywell. Development sped up after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

    There is some evidence to suggest that these may have been operational in some Airbus planes since 1989.

    ————-

    There may be somewhat of a risk here, in that the older Boeing jets had up-to-date authentication codes for their day. One wouldn’t want ‘outsiders’ to gain control; so, some ‘password’ system was obviously in place. Now, fast-foward 30 years of computer growth. Security systems of the 90s are passé to hackers of today. Find an old 757 or 767 in some boneyard, and just experiment…

  6. I was always amazed by how the jet liner that struck the Pentagon managed to fold it’s wings in to itself and pull them up in to the hole it made. Given that the engine pylons are connected with drop bolts, we have proof that this is so, otherwise we would see engine sized holes each side of the main hole in the pictures of the crash.

    1. Yep, as an aerospace engineer, that was one of my first clues that all was not well with the ‘official’ story. At the core of every engine is an incredibly-strong ‘shaft’ for holding the rotating-components together. Although the engine’s fan-blades would have sheared-off upon impact, the core of each engine should have functioned like a ‘spear’ and punched separate, deep holes – perhaps even reaching into far-side areas, like an anti-tank round…

      (Also, the wings and horizontal/vertical tails should have crumpled-up AT the outside face of the Pentagon and shown-up as massive piles of aluminum wreckage at the base of the wall. Nope, not a sign of them, except for some ‘planted’ parts…)

  7. SkyNet (AKA Space Fence) comes online 2019. As usual sold to you for one reason while actually constructed for another.
    Automobiles can be remotely hacked since 2005 through their always on cell tower connections, aircraft have a “anti terrorist” remote control designed in, “Smart” cities, currently being built around the world, will be the ultimate control freaks wet dream, they would like four cameras on every household with access granted to government agencies, I could go on and on.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzlG28B-R8Y

  8. Heinrich Himmler’s protégé, Homeland Security, is a more advanced and computerized octopus w/more tentacles & heads.
    The airline that flew into the Pentagon is an updated magic bullet remotely controlled[cruise missile].
    Looks like the stage is being set foe another patsy.
    But perhaps the greatest patsy of all time[at least recently] is CO2, being framed for “global warming/climate change”. The real culprit is the militarized, ionized skies, via chemtrails. All to help the slow culling deaths of populations while enhancing weaponization of the atmosphere for death rays and other exotic weaponry & controlled weather. It’s also a HUGE $$$ maker[rain maker].
    All this prelude, to remind us of the mindset that is priming the audience for a new globally-staged production.

  9. The 9/11 lies are fast spiralling downwards and will shortly crash. As after the Hitlery presidential debacle, there will be a short period of rage and confusion among those entrained to believe the official narrative….

    1. I was one if the entrained dumbed down population that believed, then I started reading Solari report and Joseph P Farrell.
      I don’t believe anymore.
      It’s disturbing to find out the truth, but I’m glad now that I do.

        1. …and still, thank god, waking up to new revelations every day. Dr. Farrell’s high octane speculations give added boosts to the energies it takes to keep abreast of the ever-growing darkness that is threatening humanity itself; and hopefully wake-up others to critical tipping-points of “real” changes.
          Not those engineered by
          disaster capitalism and the likes of black magick.

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