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The Cybersecurity 202: Hackers just found serious vulnerabilities in a U.S. military fighter jet

By Joseph Marks for washingtonpost.com



A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erin Trowe)

It was the first time outside researchers were allowed physical access to the critical F-15 system to search for weaknesses. And after two long days, the seven hackers found a mother lode of vulnerabilities that — if exploited in real life — could have completely shut down the Trusted Aircraft Information Download Station, which collects reams of data from video cameras and sensors while the jet is in flight.


They even found bugs that the Air Force had tried but failed to fix after the same group of hackers performed similar tests in November without actually touching the device.

.....


This is a drastic change from previous years, when the military would not allow hackers to try to search for vulnerabilities in extremely sensitive equipment, let alone take a literal whack at it. But the Air Force is convinced that unless it allows America’s best hackers to search out all the digital vulnerabilities in its planes and weapons systems, then the best hackers from adversaries such as Russia, Iran and North Korea will find and exploit those vulnerabilities first, Roper told me.

.......


They also allowed the hackers to be more aggressive this time and to physically disassemble the TADS systems to get a better idea of what kinds of digital attacks might be effective, Goldstein said. That meant the hackers could simulate a cyberattack from adversaries that had infiltrated the vast network of suppliers that make TADS components and had sophisticated knowledge about how to compromise those elements.


AND they succeeded. 


Details at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-cybersecurity-202/2019/08/14/the-cybersecurity-202-hackers-just-found-serious-vulnerabilities-in-a-u-s-military-fighter-jet/5d53111988e0fa79e5481f68/


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