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Data Doctors Tech Tips | Ken Colburn & Brandon Disney
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Original Air Date: Apr 20, 2015

Airplane Wifi Hacking Report Misleading

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A GAO report on cybersecurity risks in the airline industry was all the talk last week, as it implied that next gen airplanes could potentially be brought down because they’re connected to the Internet.

In typical Internet fashion, this story spread like wildfire causing some to believe that flying on an airplane that offered wifi service was now dangerous.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The report was full of speculation about next generation designs and used the word “if” a lot.

Several aircraft and avionics experts have chimed in with very detailed technical explanations as to why this information has been widely misreported.

They stressed that airplanes all have unhackable mechanical backup instruments and even if the autopilot was hacked, disconnecting it instantly terminates the threat.

The hacker sitting in 6F can’t bring the airplane down, despite what you may have heard.

The bottom line here is, there’s no reason to cancel your plane tickets and take a bus or a train.