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Malaysia Airlines Loses Contact With 777 en Route to Beijing

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  • If you had data, you could confirm that the pilot was guilty. But is that going to be a technical fix? As long as you need humans in the cockpit, there's the danger of a brain going haywire. And that brain can do more damage than untrained people can.

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    • Originally posted by Traumflug View Post
      Speaking as a web server administrator I have to say, there's not such thing like a totally secure remote connection. Seen press news the last few days about this "heartbleed" bug in OpenSSL, an encryption library which was considered to be secure in all situations? Now it's not and many web sites were compromised.

      A number of web sites going down is one thing, but what if there are thousands of lifes at disposal? With such a remote control system, you have hundreds of targets in the air every day, accessible to pretty much eberybody. They can try as much as they want to find a hole in the security chain and once found, it's a matter of minutes to compromise all other airborne planes, too.
      It's not a remote control. You cannot control the plane from the ground. Just activate the autonomous uninterruptable auitpilot. It doesn't need to be a complicated network, not to mention publicly accessible like the internet is.

      First of all, the connection can be a dedicated satellite one where nobody in the public has access.

      Second, it's a simple protocol: Receive simultaneously a sufficient number of required passwords. Then the system activates and won't hear anything else from the ground, now it's on its own, It would be that to breach that.

      Look how internet banking and ATM are working. People in general don't see their accounts deprived of money there, and when they do, it's almost always by card/password robbery (like phishing). And don't tell me that money and banks are not a high value target for current terrorists and hackers. And I can go to some banks webpage and bomb them with usernames and passwords to try to enter. You cannot do that with the Boeing proposed system because there is no internet.

      How many ICBMs have been accidentally fired?

      Not many worries about privacy here, as the black box is opened on accidents, only. But what would you want to record? A picture of the pilots' seat? Observation cameras don't prevent crimes and are also easy to compromise (just put something in front of the lens).
      It will not prevent this accident or crime, but the lessons learned will help prevent the next one. That's (one of the ways) how aviation safety became so impressively good. If you see somebody blocking the lens, you know it's a criminal act and not an accident. That's a start. In the previous murdercide cases it's still being discussed and objected by some that it was an intentional act.

      Oh, and it's not my idea. It's been in the NTSB wish list for a while.

      --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
      --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

      Comment


      • Or take the GPS network. That should be much easier to hack.

        GSP satellites broadcast information in pairs like this "my position, my time".
        The user's receiver get several of these pairs and, by a sort of triangulation, determines its own position.
        The "my time" data comes from an atomic clock onboard the satellite.
        But the satellite doesn't "know" its position, except by using the formula for its orbit with the "my time" as input. So the position broadcast is in fact a forecast based on a previous position and an extrapolation formula.
        Now, the orbits are not that perfect. So ground stations are all the time monitoring the real position of the satellite and correcting the formula. For a person with the knowledge and the access, it would not be hard to tell the satellites that they are thousands of kilometers away from where they actually are, information that the satellites will gladly relay to the users' receivers.

        That would be a very interesting terrorist attack, much better than "shutting down" the GPS system.

        *Side note: In fact, this is not widely known, but there is a much more precise way to determine the position of a fix, but it doesn't work in real time. It consists of getting GPS data along several hours or even days, then request the data of the historic (not forecast) REAL position that each satellite HAD in each "my time, my position" pair, and get the fix by triangulation of that corrected data. The precision of this fix is much better than what you get in real time with forecast data. Although WAAS has improved the real-time precision by orders of magnitude vs the normal raw-data real-time calculation by continuously contrasting the real-time calculated position of a ground station vs its known real position and broadcasting the needed correction to the users, WAAS doesn't come close to the precision of the post-determination unless the fix is very close to the WAAS ground station (but the WA is for Wide Area, so chances are that you are not going to be very close).

        --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
        --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

        Comment


        • Originally posted by B757300 View Post
          For what it's worth...

          THERE are unconfirmed reports that the black box flight recorder from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been found.

          Perth radio station 6PR tweeted the report, citing aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas.

          Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who is in China, is giving a pre-planned press conference at 2pm AEST.

          Mr Thomas indicated the PM would address the latest MH370 developments then.

          http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel...-1226880483186
          what he actually said tho was
          http://news.sky.com/story/1240698/mh...ack-box-search

          personally...i think its tosh...i dont think they have found anything!.....i dont know what...but somebody somewhere is telling porkies!!

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
            It's not a remote control. You cannot control the plane from the ground.
            Really?

            "After it has been activated, the aircraft will be capable of remote digital control from the ground, enabling operators to fly it like a sophisticated model plane, manoeuvring it vertically and laterally."

            http://www.standard.co.uk/news/new-a...e-7239651.html

            I'd be careful about unequivocally saying communications cannot be intercepted and spoofed. Some drones have been taken down this way so who is to say the same cannot be done for an airliner. Boeing is not in the province of being cryptographers and computer scientists.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by flight191 View Post
              Really?

              "After it has been activated, the aircraft will be capable of remote digital control from the ground, enabling operators to fly it like a sophisticated model plane, manoeuvring it vertically and laterally."
              Well, you are free to believe the London Evening Standard if you wish.
              I think that it's wrong because I believe more in other sources, and because it makes no sense.

              http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...ackers-210923/

              http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire....topilot-system

              --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
              --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
                Well, you are free to believe the London Evening Standard if you wish.
                I think that it's wrong because I believe more in other sources, and because it makes no sense.

                http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...ackers-210923/

                http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire....topilot-system
                Why does it make no sense? Because you and only you says so. Your arrogance is only outmatched by your hubris in believing systems cannot be compromised. They can and they will be. Much like SCADA which was isolated but now exposed to the world. All those systems should be under lock and key and completely inaccessible. But instead, we now have scenarios where hackers and nation states are trying to probe and infiltrate critical infrastructure. If a power plant or water system is a juicy target why shouldn't an airliner be either?

                Comment


                • P

                  Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
                  So, your flaps blow back if you overspeed. The MD-80 extends the slats if you are about to stall (and other criteria are met), the Piper Lance self-extended the gear, if you extend the speedbrakes in flight and then add thrust, they retract by themselves. I see that no airplane has currently the capability to configure itself for landing, but it doesn't seem an extraordinary engineering challenge to me. Making this system uninterruptable and tamper-proof (both from malicious activation from outside and from malicious overriding from inside) seems much, much more complicated than that.
                  Gabe, I have to agree with BB on this one. Any system that can configure the aircraft at the right time can malfunction and configure it at the wrong time. What happens if the speeds are lost and the system is blinded? You have to have a human pilot as a contingency.

                  A better (and far simpler) idea is to give each pilot a unique door access code that only they can override. Then at least no pilot can take over the cockpit without a weapon or an intense struggle. I would start there anyway.

                  Comment


                  • Re Gabriel, how about "rouge" or just spurious signals that the ether is bombarded with already?
                    Live, from a grassy knoll somewhere near you.

                    Comment


                    • It will not prevent this accident or crime, but the lessons learned will help prevent the next one. That's (one of the ways) how aviation safety became so impressively good. If you see somebody blocking the lens, you know it's a criminal act and not an accident. That's a start. In the previous murdercide cases it's still being discussed and objected by some that it was an intentional act.
                      So long as there is not stupid engineering allowing people on board to interfere. I think nowadays there is a lot of technological savvy out there, and someone can learn how to disarm a system. So I think any onboard interference has to generate an instant mayday to pick up the flight in the air. We may need spy cameras in the SKY that can instantly fix on a plane where any safety system has stopped functioning.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by flight191 View Post
                        Why does it make no sense? Because you and only you says so. Your arrogance is only outmatched by your hubris in believing systems cannot be compromised. They can and they will be. Much like SCADA which was isolated but now exposed to the world. All those systems should be under lock and key and completely inaccessible. But instead, we now have scenarios where hackers and nation states are trying to probe and infiltrate critical infrastructure. If a power plant or water system is a juicy target why shouldn't an airliner be either?
                        Another chance for the moderator to step in and cool the rhetoric? I know this place is loaded with geeks, so this kind of post is almost predictable, but that can be managed if the moderator is on the ball. As for me, I think I'll just put this poster on my ignore list.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by EconomyClass View Post
                          Another chance for the moderator to step in and cool the rhetoric? I know this place is loaded with geeks, so this kind of post is almost predictable, but that can be managed if the moderator is on the ball. As for me, I think I'll just put this poster on my ignore list.
                          It seems like anyone who dares to disagree with BB or Gabriel on this board somehow becomes persona non grata. Are Gabriel's news sources somehow better than mine? And I asked a simple question. WHY does it make no sense? Did Gabriel actually design BUAP? Is he a Computer Scientist, Avionics/Electrical Engineer and cryptographer all rolled up in one? You don't like my observation, that's fine. But don't stifle my observations/opinions because I don't agree with everything that a handful of folks have to say. Otherwise, you might as well cease being a public forum and accepting new members.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
                            It doesn't need to be a complicated network, not to mention publicly accessible like the internet is.
                            It requires at least a radio remote control and as such, it's interceptible by everybody willing to do so. For example on the satellite uplink side. All you have for protection is protocol hiding and some kind of encryption.

                            Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
                            Look how internet banking and ATM are working. People in general don't see their accounts deprived of money there, [...]

                            How many ICBMs have been accidentally fired?
                            Internet banking gets hacked a lot and, AFAIK, ICBM launches aren't remote controlled (human operator on each site).

                            Comment


                            • Guys, final post on this issue:

                              The uniterruptable autonomous autopilot is not my idea. It's a Boeing patent.
                              The cockpit video recorder is not my idea. It's been an NTSB request to the FAA for several years.
                              The extension of the CVR recording time is not my idea. It's also a request of the NTSB and a lot of other organizations.
                              The system to continuously track the position of a plane with satellite datalink is not my idea. It's been all over the place for years, and increased since AF447.
                              The same goes for the improvement of the equipment and systems to locate the plane once it's downed.
                              The technology to make many radars to work as a network is not my idea. It already exist and it is already implemented (for example in Brazil).

                              Lets remember how we got into this:

                              Peter: As for MH370, if it really was a "murdercide", then neither the airline nor the manufacturer nor the home nation of carrier and pilot are at fault.
                              Gabriel: The question would not be (and should never be) whose fault it was but how we can prevent this from happening again. And I think that the airline, the manufacturer and the nations have homework to do on that.
                              Peter: Good point, Gabriel. I missed that one Though I think it will be tricky to safeguard against the crazy guy not being in the cabin, but already in the cockpit and at the controls.
                              Gabriel: I didn't say it wouldn't be tricky, and I agree it will. But there are several fronts for this. Some ideas:[list of ideas]
                              This is just out of my head. Probably some of these things are stupid, and probably there are smart things that I didn't thought.


                              My only point is that there is always room for improvement, even in cases like this one. Maybe some of these ideas are worth being investigated. Maybe not. I don't feel like defending them in this thread.

                              --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
                              --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by flight191 View Post
                                It seems like anyone who dares to disagree with BB or Gabriel on this board somehow becomes persona non grata. Are Gabriel's news sources somehow better than mine? And I asked a simple question. WHY does it make no sense? Did Gabriel actually design BUAP? Is he a Computer Scientist, Avionics/Electrical Engineer and cryptographer all rolled up in one? You don't like my observation, that's fine. But don't stifle my observations/opinions because I don't agree with everything that a handful of folks have to say. Otherwise, you might as well cease being a public forum and accepting new members.
                                hey new guy (relatively) maybe it's your attitude. people here disagree all the time. your tone sucks though.

                                oh, and if you don't like what people here have to say about your posts, that public door your were talking about...

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