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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-26

Cyber security in civil aviation


Department of Information Systems, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Adrie Stander
Department of Information Systems, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, Cape Town
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions

Introduction: A number of recent claims in the media suggest it is possible to hack into avionics systems and control aircraft from a distance. While cyber security is not seen as a critical issue in aviation at the moment, it is likely to become much more important in the future through the accelerated adoption of information technologies in aviation. Objective: This study aims to determine if there are grounds for such claims. The aim of this paper is not to show how to compromise the information systems of an aircraft, but to indicate that this is not impossible and that vulnerabilities exist. Methodology: Since experimental work in this area is difficult, for obvious reasons, an extensive literature survey was conducted in order to find material related to the subject. Most of the material found is of a theoretical nature and even where possible vulnerabilities were identified it is difficult to show that it could be exploited in real life. Results: The study has found that steps are taken by aircraft manufacturers and controlling bodies to prevent the occurrence of such incidents. However, possible vulnerabilities exist and coordinated action is needed by the aviation industry as a whole, to determine and eradicate such vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities are likely to increase with the move towards fly-by-wire aircraft.


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