Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Cyber-Hijacking" of Flight #370 - State Sponsored Terrorism

A series of articles published in The International Business Times and Israel Defense has been floating the idea of the missing Malaysia Airlines being "cyber-hijacked".  According to several security experts a Boeing-777 airplane can have codes inserted into it using a cell phone, or a USB stick.

There are some issues, and concerns that are raised if a cyber-hijacking is to be taken as a legitimate possibility.

The type of cyber-attacks mentioned in the article would not be able to remotely fly the airplane, make precise turns, altitude changes, etc. The type of attack involves inserting codes that would likely result in the crash of the airplane either due to mechanical failures, or causing human error. There has been no evidence that the plane has crashed, nor was there any ransom made threatening to crash the plane via exploit.

One major issue not covered about a cyber-hijacking has to do with the involvement of the pilot. If the pilot was not involved in the plot then the hijackers would have to neutralize the pilot in some fashion. Otherwise not only would the pilot be able to override the autopilot, and attempt to thwart the hijacking, but would also be able to radio that something was wrong. Since there was no mayday messages from the pilot it leads to the possibility that the pilot was involved.

It seems highly unlikely that the pilot would have the technical programming abilities to write a sophisticated set of code that would be involved in a cyber-hijacking. This means that a cyber-hijacking would have to be a team effort. The pilot for his abilities with flying the aircraft, knowledge of the air corridors, and unrestricted access to the cock-pit for manual maneuvers such as turning off the transponder. If the effects of a cyber attack on the plane was disabling certain programs, beacons, etc that the pilot would not normally be able to alter and was carried out via a cell phone there would be no need for additional team members to physically board the plane. The pilot could carry the phone, and activate the code insertion himself, or another member could physically board the plane who may or may not be the person who wrote the code. Regardless of the number of members on board the plane a cyber-hijacking of the plane would require a minimum of two members, the pilot and the code-writer.

It is highly unlikely that the typical image of a "terrorist" that the Western media portrays, i.e. a turban wearing, camel riding, middle-Eastern man in a cave, would either have the knowledge of how a Boeing-777 computer works in order to program code that was effective, or would be in the market for someone to write such code without gaining international attention. On the other hand the United States or Israel could easily gain the knowledge of exactly how the systems work as well as have numerous people already on the payroll with the ability to write such codes.

If a cyber-hijacking occurred in connection with missing Malaysian flight #370 it was not a lone wolf, a rogue pilot, or an Al-Cia-da terrorist. It would have been a highly sophisticated operation that would require the vast resources of a state to carry out. However the Western media will have you believe the exact opposite.

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