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Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:44 am

IFE USB port vulnerability

Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:10 am

I am not trying to bring up the whole Airplane hacking scandals as that has been pretty much put to death after some logic. However, as more and more IFE systems incorporate USB ports (many of whom are wired for data as well as power) could it be theoretically possible for someone to install malware. I am sure that the system wouldn't do much then shut down some IFE screens but this is purely hypothetical.
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Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:28 am

Re: IFE USB port vulnerability

Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:33 am

I guess you could make something funky happen to IFE but I would guess that nothing could happen to the major systems that fly the plane. Maybe you could put up a different route map and make people think they got the wrong plane?

On a slightly facetious note, you’d have to find an USB port that:
A. Hadn’t been pushed back into the seat back.
B. Still had the little plastic out in the middle.
C. Had all 4 pints pointing in the right direction.

I believe this might be part of air India’s anti terrorist program.


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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2002 5:58 pm

Re: IFE USB port vulnerability

Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:33 am

You're sure hypothetically that the system would only shut down a few screens?

I'm glad you put so much effort into your detailed analysis of the hypothetical event.

If the system allowed some lesbian porn pop up ads from time to time that might make a twelve hour flight a bit more enjoyable. Am I right?!
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Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:15 pm

Re: IFE USB port vulnerability

Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:27 am

USB port as in "for charging of personal devices"
USB port as in "attach your own storage for playing something on the IFE system?

A charging port would not have data lines connected.
Just a current limited 5V DC outlet with an USB Form A socket.

For a data connection attack vectors are very dependent on OS used and how well it is configured.
Windows has a thing for round heels in that respect. Even when the MCP says it is save.:-)
Unixies like Linux, Android, Apple can be made save.
Murphy is an optimist

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