Dynamic Radar Map from Flightradar24.com
The Fog of a “Cyber” War
“It is late fall 2025; Al Qaeda sleeper cells target the disruption of airline traffic into multiple East coast airports during the busy travel season from Thanksgiving through Christmas.
ADS-B IN/OUT has been fully implemented by the FAA; all commercial airlines have invested heavily to comply with the mandate. Oil prices are at an all time high and flights are carrying minimal fuel loads to save money and offset the cost of avionics.
The goal: force multiple airplanes to divert; pilots, FAA controllers and passengers to lose faith in the system; and possibly cause enough chaos to the NAS system that a few lives are lost.
The plan: exploit the U.S. dependency on ADS-B IN/OUT and GPS for arrivals into busy airports, especially during low visibility conditions.
The teams: five two man teams have been put into play for the mission. They are provided with all the commercially available technology they will need, along with a few modified laptop computers, antennas and transmitters.
The targets: Regan National, Dulles, La Guardia, JFK and Philadelphia International airports. The terrorists have been tasked to park minivans with computers containing modified software that are coupled to ADS-B OUT transmitters. The software is designed to be remotely activated and controlled over an Internet connection. Each computer is programmed specifically for the targeted airport, and transmits 978MHz and 1090MHz signals out a boosted transmitter.
As a result, airlines on final approach will receive false targets on their displays. The terrorists ghost target injects also propagate to the FAA controller’s screens. The terrorists intended these spoofed targets, programmed at conflicting arrival and departure corridors as well as in runway incursion situations, to cause multiple airports to become temporarily unusable. The resulting domino effect causes aircraft diversions and delays that will lead to chaos.”
DONALD L. McCALLIE
Degree of Master of Cyber Warfare
Air Force Institute of Technology
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, USA
Download Exploring Potential ADS-B Vulnerabilities in The FAA’s Nextgen Air Transportation System
The Internet, as well as other telecommunication networks and information systems, have become an integrated part of our daily lives, and our dependency upon their underlying infrastructure is ever-increasing. Unfortunately, as our dependency has grown, so have hostile attacks on the cyber infrastructure by network predators. The lack of security as a core element in the initial design of these information systems has made common desktop software, infrastructure services, and information networks increasingly vulnerable to continuous and innovative breakers of security. Worms, viruses, and spam are examples of attacks that cost the global economy billions of dollars in lost productivity. Sophisticated distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that use thousands of web robots (bots) on the Internet and telecommunications networks are on the rise. The ramifications of these attacks are clear: the potential for a devastating largescale network failure, service interruption, or the total unavailability of service. Yet many security programs are based solely on reactive measures, such as the patching of software or the detection of attacks that have already occurred, instead of proactive measures that prevent attacks in the first place. Most of the network security configurations are performed manually and require experts to monitor, tune security devices, and recover from attacks. On the other hand, attacks are getting more sophisticated and highly automated, which gives the attackers an advantage in this technology race. A key contribution of this book is that it provides an integrated view and a comprehensive framework of the various issues relating to cyber infrastructure protection. It covers not only strategy and policy issues, but it also covers social, legal, and technical aspects of cyber security as well. We strongly recommend this book for policymakers and researchers so that they may stay abreast of the latest research and develop a greater understanding of cyber security issues.
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Terrorists fight their wars in cyberspace as well as on the ground. However, while politicians and the media have hotly debated the dangers of terrorists sabotaging the Internet, surprisingly little is known about terrorists’ actual use of the Internet.
In this timely and eye-opening volume, Gabriel Weimann reveals that terrorist organizations and their supporters maintain hundreds of websites, taking advantage of the unregulated, anonymous, and accessible nature of the Internet to target an array of messages to diverse audiences. Drawing on a seven-year study of the World Wide Web, the author examines how modern terrorist organizations exploit the Internet to raise funds, recruit members, plan and launch attacks, and publicize their chilling results. Weimann also investigates the effectiveness of counterterrorism measures and warns that this cyberwar may cost us dearly in terms of civil rights.
Illustrated with numerous examples taken from terrorist websites, Terror on the Internetoffers the definitive introduction to this emerging and dynamic arena. Weimann lays bare the challenges we collectively face in confronting the growing and increasingly sophisticated terrorist presence on the Net. A publication of the United States Institute of Peace, distributed by Potomac Books, Inc.
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