Old Computers Less Prone To Hacking, Says FAA

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The FAA says its air traffic control computers are hack resistant in part because they're so old. The Government Accountability Office released a report this week saying the FAA's systems are vulnerable to cyber-attack because the agency hasn't finished implementing information security programs. The report says that while progress has been made in protecting the systems, "it still has significant weaknesses that threaten the integrity, confidentiality and availability of its systems." The FAA contends that hackers wouldn't know where to begin to crack the codes in some of the decades-old hardware that is still in use. The agency says that because the systems are custom-built with proprietary software and special-purpose operating systems, it would take a talented hacker to break in. And while the GAO acknowledges that, it also reminds the FAA that there's nothing to stop a disgruntled employee (and there seems to be no shortage of them) from causing havoc. Government Computer News reported that the FAA is taking the GAO's report under advisement but that it doesn't consider the report to be indicative of the security of the systems.