The Department of Homeland Security, Pentagon and Department of Transportation plan to bolster an established program that investigates airliner cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting the program would run tests on actual airplanes to probe for weaknesses, much like was done several years ago when an older Boeing 757 was put to the test by researchers who found the plane could be penetrated using its radio communications setup.
The Air Force is also interested in the program, as it operates several airplane models that are also used by civilian carriers and plans to increase its own vigilance when it comes to checking its airplane inventory for cybersecurity issues.
Although several airlines have been involved in cybersecurity incidents during the past year, all have focused on the company’s reservation and payment systems, not the aircraft. However, the fact that malicious actors have probed and attacked critical infrastructure components indicates that certain adversaries are trying to develop an ability to make a big score.