As on-board connectivity catches on in airlines, attention has to be given to separating the critical navigational and communication functionality from the general network.
The computer network in the Dreamliner’s passenger compartment, designed to give passengers in-flight Internet access, is connected to the plane’s control, navigation, and communication systems, an FAA report reveals.
The revelation is causing concern in security circles because the physical connection of the networks makes the plane’s control systems vulnerable to hackers. A more secure design would physically separate the two computer networks. Boeing said it’s aware of the issue and has designed a solution it will test shortly.
When it comes to networking, more attention is given to incorporating functionality than evaluating the complete security scenario. Security needs more focus when it comes to incorporating networks into critical control systems.