ATC, A Hacker's Paradise?

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ATC Computer Security Panned...

The greatest threat to U.S. aviation security may come from cyberspace. According to the Register, a journal of IT-related topics, The Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General has found key air traffic control computer systems vulnerable to hackers. "While having limited exposure to the general public, en route center computer systems need to be better protected," the Oct. 1 report reads. All federal agencies must annually review computer security and this year's report found that while security features are incorporated into the FAA's systems on installation, they don't get updated. "FAA needs to commit to reviewing all operational air traffic control systems -- at en route, approach control and airport terminal facilities," according to the report. The report also criticized the lack of security maintenance on the thousands of computer terminals used by FAA employees throughout the country. It said that although the main servers get regular attention, none of the workstations have been checked for vulnerabilities. The FAA says it's going to review computer security in the wake of the report.