In-flight Entertainment System Security


In our series of articles we will be focusing on airline security, In-flight entertainment security and how can an in-flight entertainment can be hacked & secured. During this research an information security training expert is helping us from international institute of cyber security to understand the system and how it works.
What is In-flight entertainment? An In-flight entertainment is system that provides a wonderful passenger experience, helps airlines to earn revenues and helps passengers to spend a quality time during their flight. Each system has state-of-the-art technologies like monitors, handsets and servers, and software’s with great user interface like games and applications. These systems take the passenger experience to a whole new level and allow them to connect to global television; internet access and email from their airplane seat 10,000 miles above the ground. As per our ethical hacking course expert Jorge Rios, these advantages also lead to number of risks.
Most of the In-flight entertainment systems use Ku-band satellite network to deliver content, internet to aircraft. Thus enables the aircraft to be in constant contact with the satellite flying all over the world. This also enables passengers to access the Internet, see live television and even call their family from the plane.
Airlines are generating additional revenue with these systems by delivering advertising and in plane shopping, personalized cabin service etc. These systems also manage crew and operations applications which can capture real-time operational and maintenance data. This functionality allows real-time fleet monitoring and ensuring in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) solution. It also enables other operational benefits such as electronic flight bag and real-time weather monitoring, ground communication support.
As we all know that, satellite communication is secure and encrypted, so these communications should also be secure. As per our information security training professor, Anita Thomas who holds a PhD in cyber security, the satellite communication is secure because lot of hackers don’t have direct access to satellite communication systems. Thus there are very few hackers trying to break the system. You can consider it same as windows and Mac, lot of people have access to windows thus there are lot of security vulnerabilities and in Mac its less.
Some of the In-flight entertainment systems also allow passengers to use their mobile phone, smart phone like one supported by AeroMobile. This allows passengers to make and receive phone calls, send and read SMS text messages or email, use GPRS services, browse the web, and much more. And everything is connected, your mobile phone with in-flight entertainment system. This sounds wonderful but is also very scary if you view with the eyes of an ethical hacking course expert Jorge Rios.
There are lot of things that we will be covering in our upcoming articles about cyber security in airline industry and aircrafts in particular. Keep following us.

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