- Vulnerability ‘hard wired’ into chips in aircraft
- Could be impossible to eradicate
- ‘Back door’ in chips made by Actel
A hidden ‘back door’ in a computer chip could allow cyber-criminals a way to override and control computer systems on Boeing 787s.
The vulnerability is in an Actel chip used in their computer systems, and seems to be hard-wired into the devices.
This could mean the vulnerability – in chips used in Boeing’s flagship Dreamliner – is near-impossible to eradicate.
The security researchers who found the vulnerability have alerted governments around the world to the ‘back door’ – which could leave critical aircraft systems vulnerable.
This sort of vulnerability is unusual – most hacks use software, but a ‘back door’ in such a critical system could allow malicious attackers a way ‘past’ computer protection systems.
‘Back doors’ are commonly built into computer systems by programmers to allow quick and easy access – but on a chip of this sort, represent a dangerous vulnerability.
Security researcher Chris Woods of Quo Vadis Labs told The Guardian, ‘An attacker can disable all the security on the chip, reprogram cryptographic and access keys … or permanently damage the device.