Boeing says claim of 787 hack not possible - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather


  • Dean Stephens

    Email: dstephens@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile




Boeing says claim of 787 hack not possible

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Workers at Boeing's North Charleston plant work on a 787 Dreamliner in the mid production area of the facility.. (Brian Troutman/WCIV) Workers at Boeing's North Charleston plant work on a 787 Dreamliner in the mid production area of the facility.. (Brian Troutman/WCIV)
By Dean Stephens
dstephens@abcnews4.com

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Is there a fatal flaw with Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner? 

A published report out of the UK alleges that a computer chip used in the new airplane has a "backdoor" that could allow someone to hack into the plane's operating system.

The Guardian reported that two researchers at Cambridge University found a way hackers can make a connection through a chip made by Actel.

One of the researchers told The Guardian, "An attacker can disable all the security on the chip, reprogram cryptographic and access keys or permanently damage the device."

Boeing spokesperson Candy Eslinger told ABC News 4 that the airline is completely protected from any hacker. 

"The Boeing 787's flight critical software is protected by many layers of security. Without commenting on the specifics around this particular chip, we are confident that the multiple layers of security in place ensure the integrity of the 787's software," Eslinger said.

Eslinger said all communication to and from all flight critical devices is tightly controlled. She said the 787 operating system is closed to the Internet, devices, inputs and signals that are not explicitly programmed, scheduled or expected.

"Spurious inputs, even if they somehow made their way through to the system, would be ignored," she said. "This high level of protection has been demonstrated analytically and in testing in order to achieve certification of the airplane." 

According to EmbeddedSystemNews.com, the chip controls flight computers, cockpit displays, engine control and monitoring systems, braking systems, safety warning systems, cabin pressurization and air conditioning systems and power control and distribution systems.

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