An increasing reliance on technology in transportation makes ships and other vessels more susceptible to hijacking than they used to be.
It’s possible for hackers to access navigational systems and send ships off course, as this Reuters graphic shows:
In October, researchers exposed how easy it is for a system that broadcasts the locations of ships to be compromised. They were even able to issue fake emergency alerts with cheap radio equipment.
After Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared mid-flight, a British anti-terrorism expert suggested that it might have been hijacked using codes to infiltrate the plane’s security software. That theory suggested hijackers could have changed the direction and altitude of the plane with radio signals sent from a small device.
Boeing has acknowledged these vulnerabilities and asked the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for permission to change some of its aircraft equipment out of concern that USB ports on the in-flight entertainment systems could allow hackers to access a plane’s computers.
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