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Comment: Re:Doesn't know much about the system (Score 5, Interesting) 141

by Render_Man (#41090537) Attached to: FAA Denies Vulnerabilities In New Air Traffic Control System


As the guy on stage giving the presentation, I feel the need to comment. I see Nick was already here ahead of me covering most of the points, but I figured I'd chime in.

The FlightGear Demo video was, as Nick mentioned, a way to show that it was possible to put ADS-B data into the air with equipment available to any hobbiest. We used a flight sim and a dummy load because at no time would we ever put real data into the air without proper permissions and safety precautions. As much as I want to know what would happen, I have no desire to see anything bad happen to any aircraft or members of the flying public. It was a proof of concept to show the theory and a potential tool to test these theories.

I fully admit I dont know the system inside and out. I dont see how someone needs to be in order to spot things that are just not right.

In all the comments, much was said, but little evidence was offered. If you have evidence that you can share publically, please do so. Contact me at and prove me wrong. I would love to do a presentation where I answer all of my questions to my complete satisfaction.

A few points were raised repeatedly that I'd like to address:

"But multilateration takes care of that". Really. Please show me the report. What was the methodology for establishing that as adaquate?

"But pilots and controllers are smart people" They are also human and make mistakes. Training and preperation are going to be key to solving this

"Publicity seeking" Yes, I am seeking publicity, to get the aviation authorities to open up about these issues and provide some transparancy into the

"Try to hack it, nothing will happen". I want to, with permission of course. This is why I'm asking anyone who has access to aircraft, ATC operations gear, manuals, avionics, etc. To come forth and let us test our theories publically. If everything is secure and safe, then the worst thing that happens is I look a bit foolish, but we all can fly home feeling a bit safer.

Yes, there may have been errors in the slides. I admit so right at the beginning. The aviation industry is more acronym happy than the computer industry. Some of the numbers are from official documents and older versions of SOP's or summaries or any number of sources. Until I have the controllers procedures and standards manual in my hand, I only have publically available documents to go from, which may contain variations or errors. I'm human.

Lastly many comments questioned my motives and the logic of going public. I set out to prove to myself that ADS-B and NextGen were safe. I failed in that. I do not think it is as secure and safe as has been made out to be. I kept trying to prove to myself it was safe but every avenue turned up more evidence to the contrary. I exhausted all the documents and resources I could find and so wanted to turn to the hacker community that I know and love and get thier help in trying to prove my theories wrong. These theories have been around longer than I and are most certain to have been discussed by existing bad guys. As was stated many times, dont shoot the messenger.

TL;DR version: Show me your evidence, prove to me NextGen is safe. Let us test it for ourselves publically.


+ - Towel Day 2007

Submitted by
Render_Man writes "May 25th is Towel Day. In honor of the late Douglas Adams, carry your towel with you through the day. Do you know where your towel is?

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical value — you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you — daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen