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F 22 And F 35: Computer Hacked?  
User currently offlineMortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 3836 posts, RR: 1
Posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6162 times:

From what I understand, the F 22 and F 35 is basically flying computers. Now, I might be silly to ask this question, but can they be hacked down / crashed by an enemy ?

Do they have a defence system installed against this, or is the thought to far fetched ?

[Edited 2008-03-30 08:11:00]

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineF27Friendship From Netherlands, joined Jul 2007, 1125 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6155 times:

yes

filler..........________


User currently offlineFighterPilot From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1373 posts, RR: 23
Reply 2, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6140 times:



Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 1):
yes

Care to explain how?

Cal  airplane 



*Insert Sound Of GE90 Spooling Up Here*
User currently offlineMortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 3836 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6137 times:

Yes, what ? Am I silly to ask the question or can they be hacked down ?  Smile

User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 6119 times:



Quoting Mortyman (Reply 3):
Yes, what ? Am I silly to ask the question or can they be hacked down ?

He appears to be saying, yes they can be hacked. Assuming that's true, it would make sense that the computer systems have a filter system, such that known threat and unrecognizable signals from outside would be filtered out. It makes further sense that acceptable signals would have an identification code of some kind. Finally, your question isn't silly. Never heard it asked before and my guess is someone else has probably wondered the same thing.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineMortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 3836 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 6107 times:

I really hope they have a serious working filter and that they can't be brought down by a 14 year old computer geek ...  Smile

User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21406 posts, RR: 54
Reply 6, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 6097 times:

The "hackability" of various hard- and software is almost always overstated in the movies or on TV for the convenience of the script writer...  mischievous 

In reality, even commercial systems are much, much harder to "hack" in most cases than the entertainment industry suggests.

And yes, while it is not necessarily a piece of cake, it is in fact possible to make IT systems completely airtight against hacking attacks. And one would hope that especially the battlefield communication suites would incorporate a decently hardened firewall and have strict separation from other onboard systems.


User currently offlineMortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 3836 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6092 times:

Yes, but the Pentagon has been hacked a few times, has'nt it ?

User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21406 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6086 times:



Quoting Mortyman (Reply 7):
Yes, but the Pentagon has been hacked a few times, has'nt it ?

The Pentagon uses lots of commercial IT products designed more for performance and convenience than for extreme security. Being cost-efficient is not always a good thing security-wise...


User currently offlineF27Friendship From Netherlands, joined Jul 2007, 1125 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 6039 times:



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 4):
He appears to be saying, yes they can be hacked.

no I meant: yes, it is far fetched..


User currently offlineMoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3868 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5962 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
And yes, while it is not necessarily a piece of cake, it is in fact possible to make IT systems completely airtight against hacking attacks.

I'm going to have to disagree with you there - nothing is 100% secure, physical or software wise. There isn't a 100% secure bank vault, a 100% secure safe, a 100% secure lock - and software is in most ways more complex than either of those things (I know you know how complex software is, but I can't work out why you made such an inane statement).

Security is all about slowing an attacker down - if they persist long enough, they *will* get what they want.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21406 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5947 times:



Quoting Moo (Reply 10):
I'm going to have to disagree with you there - nothing is 100% secure, physical or software wise. There isn't a 100% secure bank vault, a 100% secure safe, a 100% secure lock - and software is in most ways more complex than either of those things (I know you know how complex software is, but I can't work out why you made such an inane statement).

Security is all about slowing an attacker down - if they persist long enough, they *will* get what they want.

In a standard commercial environment with the usual sloppy coding standards that is more or less the case in practice.

It is quite unfortunate, however, that many people in the IT field can't even remember how reliable and secure software can in fact be developed.

With growing complexity it gets more challenging, but it is in fact very much possible to write 100% correct and airtight software. It is just not done most of the time due to lack of interest or lack of resources (among those time, money, competence and tools).

One should not assume any piece of code to be absolutely airtight since this judgment itself can be flawed, but in some cases it can still actually be justified.


User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5419 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5930 times:

Ummmm, guys.... this is a custom written/coded, isolated system. Sure it could be hacked if you knew the software/operating system and you had direct access into it but otherwise it is next to impossible to hack. All the concerns about the Pentagon and such, as others here have noted, are with systems that must interact with outside systems. The secure systems have two things that guard them from the outside world: 1.) They are unplugged from the outside world (updates etc. are brought in, screened, and then uploaded. 2.) They are unique operating systems so that commonly code can't not be written for them.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineMoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3868 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5921 times:



Quoting Tugger (Reply 12):
They are unplugged from the outside world (updates etc. are brought in, screened, and then uploaded

In this case, the F-22 and F-35 have data connections with other aircraft and ground stations - thats your entry point.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 12):
They are unique operating systems so that commonly code can't not be written for them.

Actually, most of these OSes are not unique at all - you do not write a new OS for each and every new project, as that is a *huge* overhead in the project. You write one and make it better over the years, so all the bugs you removed in the last project won't affect you in the new project.

Even the Mars rovers don't run a unique OS, you can buy their OS off the shelf.


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5913 times:



Quoting Mortyman (Thread starter):
Now, I might be silly to ask this question, but can they be hacked down / crashed by an enemy ?

The Chinese are investing a lot of rice into this sort of capability for all of the West's electronics...


User currently offlineMissedApproach From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 713 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5913 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 11):
it is in fact very much possible to write 100% correct and airtight software.

Exactly. Ever heard of a Playstation being hacked, or getting a virus?

I expect the information that travels back & forth from the F-22/F-35 datalink is similar to that moving across other tactical datalink systems- locations of friendly & enemy forces. Aside from the software itself, the data transmission is likely secured in the same way the radios are- through encryption & frequency-hopping, which also makes jamming difficult.


Can you hear me now?
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21406 posts, RR: 54
Reply 16, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5876 times:



Quoting MissedApproach (Reply 15):
I expect the information that travels back & forth from the F-22/F-35 datalink is similar to that moving across other tactical datalink systems- locations of friendly & enemy forces. Aside from the software itself, the data transmission is likely secured in the same way the radios are- through encryption & frequency-hopping, which also makes jamming difficult.

Indeed, but any information which is transmitted over an open channel (which applies to every wireless transmission) is vulnerable and can be intercepted or manipulated, even if the likelihood can be kept relatively low. It's still just a relative security.

So the battlefield data link cannot be trusted completely. Probably enough for its practical use at this time, but a risk remains.

It's a different question with regard to the TV and movie kind of hacking: Just like that penetrating from this kind of communication into entirely separate onboard systems could be possible in theory, but it is quite feasible to completely and reliably exclude this particular risk, at least, making the mythical hacking powers of the clichéd omnipotent nerd entirely useless. Either by keeping the systems entirely separate physically or at least employing highly verified software separations. It's a qualitative difference, as most of the onboard systems have no need to communicate with the outside world, so they can be cut off from the communication packages. Care must be taken, of course, to eliminate opportunities for a penetration of those barriers from the outside.


User currently offlineMissedApproach From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 713 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5654 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 16):
most of the onboard systems have no need to communicate with the outside world, so they can be cut off from the communication packages.

That's right, so even in a worst-case scenario, the most I think that an enemy could do would be to find out where friendly forces are & spoof their own locations. That's pretty bad from a tactical standpoint, but it would probably only last a few hours until everyone just shut the system off & reverted to onboard sensors & radio calls, which worked just fine for the previous 40 years or so.



Can you hear me now?
User currently offlineGPIARFF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5633 times:



Quoting MissedApproach (Reply 17):
That's pretty bad from a tactical standpoint, but it would probably only last a few hours until everyone just shut the system off & reverted to onboard sensors & radio calls, which worked just fine for the previous 40 years or so.

Which will be fine until a few years from now, when they will no longer know how to do it. Ask any kid to do trig without a computer or calculator and you will be given a blank look.


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