Has Chris Roberts really “hacked” the United flight 1474?

UnitedAPTN Canadian Press Agency who has just published a report of the FBI search. Following a Tweet posted by the airline United Airlines, investigators have searched and interviewed Chris Roberts, a hacker suspected of attempting to enter the computer flight UA 1474 of April 15, 2015.
The hacker, founder of One World Labs, admitted completing 15 to 20 intrusions of this kind on Boeing 737, Boeing 757 and Airbus A-320. His front door? The IFE (In Flight Entertainment), that there system even allows you to watch movies during the flight.

The hacker made 15 to 20 intrusions since 2011

Really could Chris Roberts take control of one of the engines of an airliner from its IFE system? The hacker, who wants to reveal the weaknesses of embedded systems, acknowledged that the FBI conducted 15 to 20 intrusion between 2011 and 2014.


His weapon, a laptop and an Ethernet cable. Thales-Topseries-AvantTo infiltrate the network of embedded system, Chris Roberts uses WiFi or USB socket of the screens available to passengers. He attack directly to the computer under the seat, the SEB (Seat Electronic Box) to which it is obviously not very complicated to connect via Ethernet cable. Chris Roberts has used Kali Linux software to penetrate the system and what was obviously not very complex to infiltrate the Thales system installed in the Boeing 737/800 of the United 1474 flight… It was configured with the default ID of the system. The FBI agents were able to verify according to the hacker, noting that the SEB under the seat 2A seat front occupied by Chris Roberts during flight UA 1474, was fractured and had obviously been the subject of an intrusion.

Chris Roberts effectively acceded to the flight controls?

Infiltrate the Wei of an aircraft in flight is condemned by the law, but does not result apart from depriving the other passengers on their film. What Chris Roberts says, it is from this network, it will be able to access the commands of the aircraft’s flight. With his PC, it would be able to order the ‘Thrust Management Computer’ of the airplane mode “CLB” (to Climb). According to the hacker, one of the two reactors would obey this order, which would have placed the aircraft in asymmetric flight. The hacker announced using the Vortex software to take control of air traffic displayed in the cockpit of the aircraft. The FBI investigation has not yet established if the Chris Roberts allegations are true and if the hacker could actually cross the protections that isolate in principle the IFE network and network calculators of the aircraft. The hacker who wanted to draw attention to the lack of security of embedded systems to visibly achieved its goal.

Translation : Bing Translator

Source : “Hacker told F.B.I. he made plane fly sideways after cracking entertainment system”, APTN, May 15, 2015

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