IOActive researcher will demonstrate at Black Hat USA how satellite equipment can be ‘weaponized’
It’s been four years since researcher Ruben Santamarta rocked the security world with his chilling discovery of major vulnerabilitiesin satellite equipment that could be abused to hijack and disrupt communications links to airplanes, ships, military operations, and industrial facilities.
Santamarta has now proven out those findings and taken his research to the level of terrifying, by successfully hacking into in-flight airplane WiFi networks and satcom equipment from the ground. “As far as I know I will be the first researcher that will demonstrate that it’s possible to hack into communications devices on an in-flight aircraft … from the ground,” he says.
He accessed on-board WiFi networks including passengers’ Internet activity, and also was able to reach the planes’ satcom equipment, he says, all of which in his previous research he had concluded – but not proven – was possible. And there’s more: “In this new research, we also managed to get access to important communications devices in the aircraft,” Santamarta, principal security consultant with IO/Active, says.