In-flight Entertainment System Security

In our series of articles we will be focusing on airline security, In-flight entertainment security and how an in-flight entertainment can be hacked and secured. During this research an information security training expert is helping us from the international institute of cyber security to understand the system and how it works. What is In-flight entertainment? An In-flight entertainment is a 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 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 a number of risks.


In-flight entertainment system


Most of the In-flight entertainment systems use Ku-band satellite networks to deliver content and internet to the 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 members 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) solutions. It also enables other operational benefits such as an electronic flight bag, real-time weather monitoring and 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 a 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 as windows and Mac, a lot of people have access to windows thus there are a lot of security vulnerabilities and in Mac there are less. Some of the In-flight entertainment systems also allow passengers to use their mobile phones, like smart phones 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, including your mobile phone with the in-flight entertainment system. This sounds wonderful but is also very scary if you view it through the eyes of an ethical hacking course expert, like Jorge Rios. There are a lot of things that we will be covered in our upcoming articles about cyber security in the airline industry and aircrafts in particular.

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