Germany plans to raise security against cyber-hijacking of airplanes

On 12 July, Major General Ansgar Rieks, head of the German Military Aviation Authority, launched a new cyber security strategy to protect military aircraft from being cyber-hijacked with relatively inexpensive equipment. Recent researches have demonstrated how hackers can take control of aircraft remotely. The threat is extended to civil aviation as well.

This year, Germany developed a cyber command that groups cyber units across the military. The aviation cyber issue is at the top of its agenda. At the same time, this topic is also discussed at the international level within NATO and the European Union, whose Aviation Safety Agency has recently signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-EU) to establish a European Centre for Cyber Security in Aviation (ECCSA). Experts have repeatedly expressed concerns about the inability of the civil and military aviation industry to keep up with cyber threats linked with increasingly computer-connected planes. However, to set up an efficient strategy, international standards and cooperation, as well as exchange of information among national authorities, are urgently needed, even more than usual in a profoundly transnational sector like civil aviation.

About author: Giorgio Sirtori


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