Boeing 787 grounded over hacking fears

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The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has grounded Boeing's new 787 airliner after concerns about the integrity of its computer systems.

The FAA said last week that it was unhappy with the possibility of passengers being able to hack into the aircraft's flight systems using the data links built into each seat.

"The proposed architecture of the 787 allows passenger connectivity to previously isolated data networks connected to systems that perform functions required to the safe operation of the airplane," the FAA report stated.

"This new passenger connectivity may result in security vulnerabilities from intentional corruption of data and systems critical to the safety of the airplane."

Boeing has said that it is working with the FAA to resolve the problem and that it had already built a firewall between the systems. The manufacturer claims that the systems would be 100 per cent secure.

However, Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer at security firm BT Counterpane, said that the likelihood of the system being perfect is "zero" .

"It is possible that Boeing can make the connection to the internet secure. If it does, it will be the first time that anyone has done so," he told Associated Press.

The Air Line Pilots Association has also expressed concern about the systems and has suggested that pilots should have a "kill switch" to shut down passenger data networks.

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