Hack grounds handful of Polish airline's flights

Polish airline LOT was attacked by hackers who accessed the company's ground systems responsible for issuing flight plans.
Polish airline LOT was attacked by hackers who accessed the company's ground systems responsible for issuing flight plans.

The Polish airline LOT had to ground several planes, temporarily stranding 1,400 passengers at Chopin airport in Warsaw after the airline's ground computers were attacked by hackers.

The systems, used to distribute flight plans, experienced an attack in the afternoon with the airline fixing the issue around five hours later, according to a Reuters report. The airline canceled ten flights, domestic and international, and another 12 or so flights were delayed.

Airline spokesperson Adrian Kubicki stressed that the safety of other flights had not been compromised.

"Few attacks illicit a stronger response or tap into deeper fears than those that target aviation infrastructure,”  Ben Desjardins, director of security solutions at Radware, said in a statement emailed to SCMagazine.com, and noting that the event turns the spotlight on aviation infrastructure's broad attack surface that extends beyond just the airplanes.

“Given the severity of potential impact and a recent increase in related incidents, the threats seem to at least warrant careful review,” he said. “The aviation industry will need to balance its continued integration of new, networked technologies with a combination of security measures and in all likelihood processes that leverage a human component to mitigate unauthorized takeover."

Kubicki warned that since the hack was able to take place despite LOT's use of state-of-the-art technology, that other airlines could be at risk and should take heed.

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