Archive for May 18, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hacking Airplanes

Kim Zetter (via Bill Bumgarner):

Chris Roberts, a security researcher with One World Labs, told the FBI agent during an interview in February that he had hacked the in-flight entertainment system, or IFE, on an airplane and overwrote code on the plane’s Thrust Management Computer while aboard the flight. He was able to issue a climb command and make the plane briefly change course, the document states.


He obtained physical access to the networks through the Seat Electronic Box, or SEB. These are installed two to a row, on each side of the aisle under passenger seats, on certain planes. After removing the cover to the SEB by “wiggling and Squeezing the box,” Roberts told agents he attached a Cat6 ethernet cable, with a modified connector, to the box and to his laptop and then used default IDs and passwords to gain access to the inflight entertainment system. Once on that network, he was able to gain access to other systems on the planes.

Bruce Schneier (via Bill Bumgarner):

The problem the GAO identifies is one computer security experts have talked about for years. Newer planes such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350 and A380 have a single network that is used both by pilots to fly the plane and passengers for their Wi-Fi connections. The risk is that a hacker sitting in the back of the plane, or even one on the ground, could use the Wi-Fi connection to hack into the avionics and then remotely fly the plane. […] Previous planes had separate networks, which is much more secure.


What this all means is that we have to start thinking about the security of the Internet of Things--whether the issue in question is today’s airplanes or tomorrow’s smart clothing. We can’t repeat the mistakes of the early days of the PC and then the Internet, where we initially ignored security and then spent years playing catch-up. We have to build security into everything that is going to be connected to the Internet.

Intermittent But Frequent Pauses May Be From iCloud Syncing

Topher Kessler (via Pierre Igot):

When using your Mac running OS X Yosemite, you may find that at certain times during the day your Mac will begin to pause, showing the spinning color wheel repeatedly and quite frequently. When this happens, it interrupts all ability to type and interact with other applications, leaving you with the only options of waiting or attempting to restart your system to clear the problem.


While there is no mention of it in the system console, the problem at hand does coincide with Apple’s handling of its documents in iCloud. This is apparent through the use of the tool “fseventer” which monitors what files on your hard drive are being accessed. Through this tool you can see the massive repeated creation and deletion of a temporary file called “etilqs_NUMBER” that correlates to the pauses, along with a large level of activity for CloudKit and other iCloud resources. The etilqs file is created by the “nsurlstoraged” background process, which is responsible for managing web storage.

Updating iPhoto for Mac OS X 10.10.3

Brian Webster (tweet):

Certain versions of OS X enforce a minimum version of iPhoto that must be installed, and will refuse to run older versions. If this is the case, then trying to open libraries or perform other operations with iPhoto Library Manager will likely result in an error message saying that the installed version of iPhoto is not compatible.

Normally, it would be a simple matter of updating your version of iPhoto via the Mac App Store, but since Apple’s release of their new Photos app, iPhoto is now no longer available on the app store, which makes it impossible to directly update older versions of iPhoto. It is still possible for most Macs to get the latest version of iPhoto, but it now requires jumping through some hoops.