This Sunday, a cyber attack targeted the Polish LOT airline, leaving 1,400 stranded at the Frederic Chopin airport.
In what was named an unprecedented attack on the airline, the cyber attack targeted the scheduling system of outgoing flights from the Warsaw-based airport. Conducted over five hours, the attack began at 4 P.M., and affected 1,400 passengers.
In a statement coming from LOT’s website, the company commented that damage was inferred just to the ground operating system. No attempts were made at taking over other commands. In this five hour cyber attack the hackers managed to block the scheduling of outbound flights from Warsaw’s Frederic Chopin airport.
To address concerns of passengers, no aircraft computers were under threat. A fragment of the LOT statements reads:
“We’d like to underline, that it [the attack] has no influence on plane systems. Aircrafts, that are already airborne will continue their flights. Planes with flight plans already filed will return to Warsaw normally”.
The situation was reversed by LOT airline after the five hours that the cyber attack had blocked the system. Passengers have been safely rerouted to their choice destinations. For those who needed to wait even further, overnight stays were arranged by the company to compensate for the delay.
Thus far there have been no details on who might have carried the attack on the Polish LOT airline. The Polish law enforcement officials took the case and are now investigating the source and the motives as to which the cyber attack might have been carried.
Worldwide, there are growing concerns that the cyber attacks may grow increasingly efficient to the point where they can overtake the control of an aircraft seemingly easy.
Although such claims are usually rebuked by security officials, there has been proof to support the contrary.
Governmental agencies have drawn alerts connected to in-flight entertainment systems. Last year, the International Civil Aviation Organization also warned of cybercrime risks, stating that it works toward the goal of setting up a security culture for passenger protection.
In the U.S. the FBI is still looking into the claims of Chris Roberts from the One World Labs. Roberts claims that while on his passenger seat of a United aircraft, he was able to attack the in-flight entertainment system.
His claims are being researched by the FBI in collaboration with United Airlines, albeit the airline rebuked the claims of Roberts in previous statements.
The cyber attack targeted at Polish LOT raises another concern on aviation IT security.
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