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Senator Schumer Warns Of Terrorists Hacking The FAA

Senator Chuck Schumer

U.S. Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer (D) of New York has urged the federal government to enhance cybersecurity protections for the nation’s air traffic control system after a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which indicated that the FAA is at risk to hackers.

Schumer cited the GAO report saying that less than half of the federal agency’s recommendations to protect the Federal Aviation Administration from hackers and terrorists have been implemented thus far, according to a News Day report.

The report recommends a total of 168 specific actions to address weaknesses in security controls; there are 17 “recommendations” in all.

One of the GAO’s primary findings in their assessment of the FAA’s security pertained to a lack of structure protecting the agency’s computer systems from cyberattacks.

The senator was quoted by the NY Daily as having said that “thousands of planes could be in the air unguided” if attackers were able to penetrate the air traffic control system through the successful exploitation of vulnerabilities reported by the GAO.

If they were able to hack the system, thousands of planes could be in the air unguided. Sophisticated terrorists could even steer planes into one another

The accountability agency recommended that the nation’s flight controllers establish multiple firewalls, enhance encryption measures and require security training for both employees and contractors while establishing a more secure system for controlling access to computer systems.

The Federal Aviation Administration responded to the recommendations by conveying their intention to implement the recommended changes in an attempt to bolster security across the administration’s systems.

Do you think it’s time for the FAA to improve their cybersecurity measures and what do you think would happen if terrorists managed to hack into the nation’s air traffic control system?

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