Hackers 'take over Boeing 757' as it’s sitting on the runway, without the pilots realising

An American Airlines Boeing 757-200.
An American Airlines Boeing 757-200.

Security researchers have shown off alarming hacks where they ‘take over’ cars – but a new demonstration may be the scariest yet.

Security researchers from America’s Homeland Security were able to remotely ‘hack’ a Boeing 757 while it sat on the runway, without the pilots being aware.

Boeing has played down the hack at Atlantic City Airport in 2016, with one anonymous official saying, ‘I’m not afraid to fly.’

Homeland Security cyber investigator Robert Hickey said, ‘We got the aeroplane on September 19, 2016.

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‘Two days later, I was successful in accomplishing a remote, non-cooperative, penetration.’

‘I didn’t have anybody touching the aeroplane, I didn’t have an insider threat.

‘I stood off using typical stuff that could get through security and we were able to establish a presence on the systems of the aircraft.’

Boeing says that the hack would only affect specific older aircraft. Many of the details of the hack remain classified, Hickey said.

Boeing told Yahoo News UK in a statement: ‘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.

‘Boeing is confident in the cyber-security measures of its airplanes. Multiple layers of protection, including software, hardware, network architecture features, and governance are designed to ensure the security of all critical flight systems from intrusion.

‘Boeing’s cyber-security measures have been subjected to rigorous testing, including through the FAA’s certification process, and our airplanes meet or exceed all applicable regulatory standards.’