Experts debate whether an airplane could be remotely hijacked by smartphone


Oh dear.

“It is possible for hackers — be they part of organised crime or with
government backgrounds — to get into the main computer network of the
plane through the inflight, onboard entertainment system.

I’d say in theory, yes, but Boeing is smart enough on security to avoid this. What … I wonder … about external third parties fitting entertainment equipment, under lax local oversight?

At this stage, nothing’s impossible!

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If some terrorist group pulled this off, why no video, letters, emails, anything taking responsibility for it?


They didn’t say anything at all.

It was only in the mid 70s (CMIIW) that people started hijacking aircraft for political publicity etc. Up till then they had mad / pragmatic objectives, and there was no need for publicity, except the occasional kook. So when you’re just doing a job, no media.

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Interesting. Just looked it up on Wiki. Conspiracy theories there, too. I always thought conspiracy theorists were bonkers, still do sometimes, but once real conspiracies are uncovered, it makes you question every damned thing from all sides.

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Maybe cuz things didn’t go as planned? If the plane ended up at the bottom of an ocean instead of on land and with live hostages to negotiate over, maybe a terrorist group doesn’t want to take responsibility for it?

Just thinking aloud here, like so many others seem to be doing about this bizarre story. I think the most bizarre bit is how much sustained attention this story is getting. I know, “ratings ratings ratings!”, but still, it’s been the top story on CNN’s site for what, 8 or 9 days now? That’s craaaaaaaaaaaazy.


I’m very open minded! From where I sit, if you can conjecture sensibly, and have decent evidence to hold up your conjecture, it’s not conspiracy theorism - it’s just logic. You don’t need all the answers, and you can leave it as another “If” in a finite set of probabilities, and have that sitting in a mass of probabilities, but ultimately the thing gels for any given individual depending on their bias, and they get to an answer.

Conspiracy theorists make too many unwarranted jumps and connections, or are unable to state them persuasively. That’s why it’s easy to peg them as nuts. But it’s always fascinating to see who does the pegging.

6 degrees of separation, and most of us in our lifetimes see 99% of what humans get up to throughout history.


Yeah, it’s an attention-getter and headline seller because “it’s a mystery”, and the Malaysians have been fluffing up their lines since minute 1, and it has implications on global air travel, expansion of investment in non-occidental areas, etc.

If this is the case, it reminds me of the escape scene towards the end of ‘Ready Player One’

It’s also possible that this was part of the plan, and not the whole plan. If this was step one of three, I wouldn’t expect any sort of announcement.

That said, I don’t tend to believe conspiracy theories, but I do like to play with them in my mind.

Just like the pilot episode of the X-Files spin-off, “The Lone Gunmen” about a group of hacker conspiracy theorists. Someone cyberhijacks an airliner and tries to fly it into the World Trade Center. The episode aired 6 months before 9-11.


I believe a commenter on Tom Ashbrook’s On Point radio show (it’s the bomb, dontcha know) noted that some governments aren’t being exactly open about what information they may or may not have because of the need to keep their security systems secret. So fuck them and the horse they rode in on, mmkay?

As for the remote hijack–yikes. I would think Boeing systems are hardened enough to withstand such a thing, but what the hell do I know? I was a little surprised that Boeing hasn’t taken more of a hit on this given the age of the aircraft–it’s a 777, which in airplane terms is brand spakin new.

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Surely aircraft designers aren’t stupid enough to tie the two systems together. Anyway, are entertainment systems/seating/etc not put into the plane bespoke-stylee for each customer? So they’d purchase a fully
working but empty plane, then put their own ancillaries/liveried seating and so forth in? Makes sense to me.

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A paranoid fellow might conjecture that the more outré theories were specifically constructed to up the signal/noise ratio to obscure the actual conspiracies…


Yeah, and remember Boeing produces military as well, so they know security up and down.

But - if you took an engineer who knows the 777 security, and they got to tinker with the toys, presumably they could get a back door in.

Personally I’m not looking at this as a probability in this situation - I think it was just plain hijacked.

Every time. Check out the Malaysian “Bomoh” magic people in the Malaysian news - the population is cringeing with shame at this, but the government allowed it “so long as it doesn’t offend Sharia law” - more chaff, more confusion, more for people to chat about at the coffee stand - less clear, concise information.

I can’t see this situation arising in Norway, for instance.

Also whiffs of how they left China in Reamde.

If someone had installed hardware designed to receive signals, it’s possible. However, is any such hardware installed on any commercial airplanes out there? That would seem like a bad idea.

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