What Happened?

Chris Roberts, a cybersecurity consultant, hacked an airplane’s computer system and was able to take control of the airplane on several different insistences. Roberts was able to do this by hacking into the in-flight entertainment systems aboard airplanes. He claimed to have done so 15 to 20 times from 2011 to 2014. He has also claimed that one time he was able to overwrite a code which issued a ‘CLB’ or climb command, this resulted in a sideways movement of the plane.

The FBI has since filed a search warrant application in the U.S District Court for the Northern District of New York. The warrant was issued on the basis of  ‘Evidence of a crime’, ‘Property designed for use, intended for use, or used in committing a crime’,  and ‘Contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed.



Roberts’ Attorney spoke out for his clients case and stated “Over last 5 years my only interest has been to improve aircraft security. Given the current situation I’ve been advised against saying more.” Roberts said he was able to take control of the airplane through a modified Ethernet cable which connected his laptop to an electronic box below his seat that controls the entertainment system. After connecting his computer he says he hacked into the airplane’s computer nerve center.

FBI agents investigated and found signs of tampering and damage to electronic control boxes that connected to in-flight entertainment systems. The boxes tampered with were located directly under Robert’s seat and the one in front of his seat.


Chris Roberts has been trying to raise awareness in airplance security for years now. He stated that he knew of vulnerabilities abroad 3 types of Boeing aircrafts and one Airbus model.  Roberts has since accused the FBI of incorrectly condensing five years of research into one paragraph.

Cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly talked about subject. With more and more smart objects and softwares coming about, it is imperative to keep security the first priority. We demonstrated how easy it was to hack into a persons RFID card and steal all there information by simply walking by the person. Check out the short video below to see for yourself how easy a Silent Hack Attack can happen.


Hacking into an airplane’s control center can be just as easy as walking by someone to steal their information. The big take away from this would be to make sure that you are secure. Airplane officials never considered being hacked from within the planes in-house entertainment system. This is a big wakeup call for everyone to take cybersecurity more seriously.

Is your sensitive data secure from hackers?

Contact GraVoc Associates if you have any questions about your security.

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