News for Germany

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Ärzte kritisieren Tablets und WLAN in Schulen
Germany Created: 17 Oct 2014
Der Ärztearbeitskreis Digitale Medien Stuttgart, dem 20 Mediziner aus Baden-Württemberg angehören, kritisiert aktuell die Einführung von Tablets, Smartphones und WLAN an Schulen. In einem Offenen Brief an die baden – württembergische Sozialministerin Altpeter und Kultusminister Stoch bemängeln die Ärzte, dass die aus der Wissenschaft und Medizin vorgebrachten Bedenken zur Nutzung digitaler Medien in den Schulen nicht beachtet würden,

*SNIP* read the entire open letter via the source link below...
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Äerzte und mobilfunk, 01 Oct 2014

EASA allows electronic devices to remain On and Connected throughout the flight
Germany Created: 28 Sep 2014
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) allows European airlines to permit use of mobile phones following the aircraft landing.

Airlines can also allow the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) throughout the flight, after a safety assessment process. As a result, passengers will be able to use their PEDs just like in any other mode of transport: throughout the trip.

The new guidance allows airlines to permit PEDs to stay switched on, without the need to be in ‘Airplane Mode’. This is the latest regulatory step towards enabling the ability to offer ‘gate-to-gate’ telecommunication or WiFi services.

PEDs include any kind of electronic device brought on board the aircraft by a passenger such as smartphone, tablet, laptop, e-reader, MP3 player, etc.

It is up to each airline to decide to allow the use of PEDs. In order to do this, the airline will have to go through an assessment process, ensuring aircraft systems are not affected in any way by the transmission signals from the PEDs. For this reason, there may be differences among airlines whether and when PEDs can be used.

Passengers must at all times follow the airline crew instructions. Safety always comes first onboard of an aircraft.

This measure follows the initial action from EASA in December 2013, toward permitting the use of PEDs through almost all stages of flight, when the ‘Airplane Mode’ not transmitting was allowed.

Further details can be found at
Click here to view the source article.
Source: EASA, 26 Sep 2014

Germany Fights Population Drop (as fertility plunges)
Germany Created: 10 Sep 2014
SONNEBERG, Germany — At first glance, this town in central Germany, with rows of large houses built when it was a thriving center of toy manufacturing, looks tidy and prosperous. But Heiko Voigt, the deputy mayor here, can point out dozens of vacant homes that he doubts will ever be sold.

The reality is that the German population is shrinking and towns like this one are working hard to hide the emptiness. Mr. Voigt has already supervised the demolition of 60 houses and 12 apartment blocs, strategically injecting grassy patches into once-dense complexes.

“We are trying to keep the town looking good,” he said.

There is perhaps nowhere better than the German countryside to see the dawning impact of Europe’s plunge in fertility rates over the decades, a problem that has frightening implications for the economy and the psyche of the Continent. In some areas, there are now abundant overgrown yards, boarded-up windows and concerns about sewage systems too empty to work properly. The work force is rapidly graying, and assembly lines are being redesigned to minimize bending and lifting.

In its most recent census, Germany discovered it had lost 1.5 million inhabitants. By 2060, experts say, the country could shrink by an additional 19 percent, to about 66 million.

Demographers say a similar future awaits other European countries, and the issue grows more pressing every day as Europe’s seemingly endless economic troubles accelerate the decline. But bogged down with failed banks and dwindling budgets, few are in any position to do anything about it.

Germany, however, an island of prosperity, is spending heavily to find ways out of the doom-and-gloom predictions, and it would seem ideally placed to show the Continent the way. So far, though, even while spending $265 billion a year on family subsidies, Germany has proved only how hard it can be. That is in part because the solution lies in remaking values, customs and attitudes in a country that has a troubled history with accepting immigrants and where working women with children are still tagged with the label “raven mothers,” implying neglectfulness.

If Germany is to avoid a major labor shortage, experts say, it will have to find ways to keep older workers in their jobs, after decades of pushing them toward early retirement, and it will have to attract immigrants and make them feel welcome enough to make a life here. It will also need to get more women into the work force while at the same time encouraging them to have more children, a difficult change for a country that has long glorified stay-at-home mothers.

There is little doubt about the urgency of the crisis for Europe. Several recent studies show that historically high unemployment rates — in excess of 50 percent among youths — in countries like Greece, Italy and Spain are further discouraging young people from having children. According to the European Union, the total number of live births in 31 European countries fell by 3.5 percent, to 5.4 million from 5.6 million, between 2008 and 2011. In 1960 about 7.5 million children were born in 27 European countries.

Even before those trends were detected, many countries in Europe were expected to shrink by 2060; some, like Latvia and Bulgaria, even more than Germany. And the proportion of elderly will become burdensome. There are about four workers for every pensioner in the European Union. By 2060, the average will drop to two, according to the European Union’s 2012 report on aging.

Some experts worry that Germany has already waited too long to tackle the issue. But others say that is too pessimistic. In any case, in Germany the issue is front and center now.

Large families began to go out of fashion in what was then West Germany in the 1970s, when the country prospered and the fertility rate began dropping to about 1.4 children per woman and then pretty much stayed there, far below the rate of 2.1 children that keeps a population stable. Other countries followed, but not all. There is a band of fertility in Europe, stretching from France to Britain and the Scandinavian countries, helped along by immigrants and social services that support working women.

Raising fertility levels in Germany has not proved easy. Critics say the country has accomplished very little in throwing money at families in a system of benefits and tax breaks that includes allowances for children and stay-at-home mothers, and a tax break for married couples.

Demographers say that a far better investment would be to support women juggling motherhood and careers by expanding day care and after-school programs. They say recent data show that growth in fertility is more likely to come from them.

“If you look closely at the numbers, what you see is the higher the gender equality, the higher the birthrate,” said Reiner Klingholz of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development.

But undoing years of subsidies for traditional households is difficult. “Touching those is political suicide,” said Michaela Kreyenfeld of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany.

In the meantime, mothers trying to work here face obstacles that discourage large families. Though Germany recently enacted a law guaranteeing day care for all children over 12 months, compared with 3 years and older before, experts say there is still a shortage of affordable facilities. Further, many schools let out at noon, and there are few after-school programs.

Melanie Vogel, 39, of Bonn, found that trying to blend work and motherhood was so lonely, dispiriting and expensive that she decided to have one child. None of her friends worked full time, her mother-in-law made clear she disapproved, and so did clients in the job fair company she runs with her husband.

“Before my son was born, I was Melanie, a working businesswoman,” Mrs. Vogel said. “But after my son was born, to a lot of people, I was just a mother.”

Many working mothers find themselves quickly pushed into poorly paid “mini” jobs — perhaps 17 hours a week for about $600 a month. More than four million working women in Germany, about a quarter of the female work force, hold such jobs.

Another way to adjust to the population decline is to get older workers to postpone retirement. The German government is raising the retirement age incrementally to 67 from 65, and companies have moved fast to adapt. The share of people ages 55 to 64 in the work force had risen to 61.5 percent in 2012, from 38.9 percent in 2002.

Volkswagen has redesigned its assembly line to ease the bending and overhead work that put excessive strain on workers’ bodies. About three years ago, they began using reclining swivel seats that provide back support even for hard-to-reach spots in the automobiles they are building, and the installation of heavy parts like wheels and front ends is now often fully automated.

Other companies are offering flexible hours to appeal to older workers. Hans Driescher, a physicist trained in the former East, is 74 and still on the job at the German Aerospace Center almost a decade after he reached the mandatory retirement age. He started out working 55 hours a month, but has now cut down to 24. He spends the summer in his garden and works the rest of the year.

With high unemployment rates across most of Southern and Eastern Europe, Germany is in a good position to increase its labor pool by plucking the best and the brightest from its neighbors, and it has begun to do so.

Yet, with hundreds of thousands of skilled jobs unfilled, some executives believe Germany should change its immigration laws and accept foreign credentials to compete for workers with other aging countries.

Germany’s experience with integrating foreign workers in the past, particularly the country’s large Turkish minority, has proved difficult, and many government officials and business leaders are examining Germany’s culture, eager to do what it takes to be hospitable.

But whether they will succeed is unclear. A recent study found that more than half the Greeks and Spaniards who came to Germany left within a year. Many arrivals are young and highly qualified and see a global market for their skills. And many, given the opportunity, will probably go home, experts say. Immigration in general has become more temporary, and moving across borders in Europe is especially easy.

“I think the answer is that we need to look outside Europe,” Dr. Klingholz said.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: New York Times, SUZANNE DALEY and NICHOLAS KULISH, 13 Aug 2013

Direct mobile phones radiation influence: Dial 1-800-EXTINCTION
Germany Created: 25 Aug 2014
Electronic devices and the Internet have changed the way people interact with each other. Be it via laptop computers with Wireless LAN, mobile phones or smartphones, nowadays everybody seems to be electronically connected to everybody all the time. These
changes have brought about an enormous increase in everyday exposure to radio waves. Concerns have been raised that radiofrequency energy might cause cancer, since it is absorbed by the tissues of the human body. However, to date there is no clear scientific evidence that this non-ionizing energy has the potential to alter DNA and cause cancer [1]. Apart from the question about cancer, fertility is another area of interest since many men keep mobile phones in their trouser pockets in the proximity of their testicles. Several reports on the decline of semen parameters have been published over the last decades and even before mobile phones were invented. Igor Gorpinchenko and co-workers [2] devised an in-vitro study to test the hypothesis that electromagnetic waves from mobile phones have a detrimental effect on sperm parameters. When placed 5 cm from a mobile phone, they observed a significant decrease in the number of spermatozoa with progressive movement and an increase in the number of spermatozoa with non-progressive movement. Additionally, a significant increase in DNA fragmentation was found
during the 5 hours of electromagnetic exposure. The approach is not genuinely new and other research groups came to similar conclusions. How these findings translate into an in vivo setting remains unclear. If mobile phones had a detrimental effect in
real life, additional questions will arise. In this case the use of laptop computers ‘on the lap’ would cause the same damage. And what about women trying to get pregnant? Spermatozoa have the ability to survive several days in the female reproductive tract.
Would laptop computers and mobile phones produce the same damage to spermatozoa there?
So what do we know about the decline of semen parameters? In 1992, Carlsen et al. published a paper about decreasing semen quality during the past 50 years [3]. It gained a lot of publicity, not only in the scientific community, but also in the media. The media
love such headlines and in the last twenty years it has become common knowledge to practically everybody on this planet that deteriorating sperm quality is a fact.

Keeping in mind the retrospective nature of Carlsen’s data, dating back as far as 1938, with lack of information on specimen collection and analysis, the message might not be so clear-cut after all. Moreover, it is known, that there exist large within-subject variations in semen parameters in healthy men, including sperm count and sperm motility [4]. Between 1996 and 2010 a large cross-sectional study of 4,867 Danish men (median age 19 years) was carried out to scrutinize whether a decline in sperm quality could be observed [5]. The authors concluded that this was not the case. However, only 23% of the participants had optimal sperm parameters. The Danish health authorities’ comment on the outcome of the study was that no conclusions could be drawn from the afore-mentioned historic data, as there were too many uncertainties involved. However, they raised a cautious flag and advised that sperm quality should be monitored even in the future [6, 7].

Coming back to mobile phone users, which conclusions can be drawn from the study at hand? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question, but to be on the safe side for men on the verge of infertility, “don’t grill your testicles” seems to be reasonable advice. They might be better off with their phone kept in a higher position, farther away from the scrotum.

(see source link for references)
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Central European Journal of Urology, Stefan Buntrock, 13 Apr 2014

BREAKTHROUGH: EHS acknowledged as an occupational disease in Germany!
Germany Created: 23 Jul 2014
Court rejects Governments "no proof" rubbish claims and accept testimony of independent scientists Von-Klitzing and Hecht.

EHS of a former German Army Radar-mechanic acknowledged as occupational disease by the court of appeal for administrative litigation in German state Schleswig-Holstein (Schleswig-Holsteinisches Oberverwaltungsgericht)
3 LB 21/11, September 13, 2012

The plaintiff worked for the German army (Bundeswehr) from 1970 to 1992 as a mechanic for Radar systems. While working he was exposed to ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Since 1973 the plaintiff suffered from inflammation, infectious diseases and palpitations. From 1976 he also suffered from agitation, sleep disorders, fatigue, lack of concentration and extreme forgetfulness, extreme headaches, disorder of the immune system, food allergies and other allergic symptoms, non-functioning eyesight, sweats, exhaustion until mid 90ies.

The plaintiff was diagnosed with EHS and treated in two clinics in 1993. In 1994 the Federal Republic of Germany as his employer rejected to acknowledge his illness as an occupational disease claiming there is no proof that his symptoms are caused by the exposure. In 1994, the plaintiff was pensioned off.

The plaintiff filed a law-suit against the Federal Republic as his former employer to the court for administrative litigation in Schleswig to get this acknowledgement. He gave the court several reports of experts who examined his or other Radar-Mechanics conditions. As the court granted the plaintiff´s suit the defendant filed an appeal to the higher court, arguing that committees and experts- the WHO, the ICNIRP and the German committee for the protection of radiation (Strahlenschutzkommission – SSK) are of the opinion that EMF-exposure below standards does not cause any physical harm.

The plaintiff sent the court Prof. em. Prof. Dr. Dr. med. Karl Hecht´s study from 2001 on „Effects of EMF“ as well as a report by medicine physicist Dr. rer nat Lebrecht von Klitzing on the biological effects of pulsed high frequency waves below standards as well as a synopsis by Prof. Hecht from 2005 that explained that the majority of personnel exposed to radiation suffered from the symptoms of what is called the „microwave syndrom“. The court appointed another expert who reported in 2005 and 2006 that the plaintiff´s symptoms are not caused by ionizing or non-ionizing radiation or a combination of both. After hearing several other expert witnesses – among them Prof. em. Prof. Dr. Dr. Karl Hecht and Dr. rer. nat. Lebrecht von Klitzing – the court appointed another expert and – after another hearing – obliged the defendant to acknowledge the plaintiffs request in a verdict from August 20th, 2008.

On appeal, the highest federal court in administrative matters (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) declared that the decision violated federal law as the court had not taken enough efforts to research the facts. The court of appeal than appointed a third expert who stated that it was possible to proof the causation of the plaintiff´s exposure and his disease. The court ruled again in favor of the plaintiff and also ruled that another appeal is not permitted. The defendant´s complaint against this to the highest federal court was not successful. In consequence, the acknowledgement is now legally binding.


Note that the Court rejected the Gov expert opinion including the reliance on ICNIRP & the WHO and their claim that... there is no proof of biological harms and instead accepted Prof. Hecht and Prof. Von-Klitzing testimony.

THIS IS HUGE! I hope it brings you some hope!


N.B. Just note the big legal difference between Germany (EHS = occupational disease) and Sweden (EHS = functional impairment [with it’s symptoms classified as an occupationally-related symptom-based diagnosis (code ICD-10) by the Nordic Council of Ministers since 2000. DIVS: 2000:839; ISBN: 92-893-0559-2 ]).

Best regards

(Olle Johansson, associate professor
The Experimental Dermatology Unit
Department of Neuroscience
Karolinska Institute
171 77 Stockholm
Source: Prof. Olle Johanssen, via email, 23 Jul 2014

Privacy Scandal: NSA Can Spy on Smart Phone Data
Germany Created: 9 Sep 2013
The United States' National Security Agency intelligence-gathering operation is capable of accessing user data from smart phones from all leading manufacturers. Top secret NSA documents that SPIEGEL has seen explicitly note that the NSA can tap into such information on Apple iPhones, BlackBerry devices and Google's Android mobile operating system.

The documents state that it is possible for the NSA to tap most sensitive data held on these smart phones, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where a user has been.

The documents also indicate that the NSA has set up specific working groups to deal with each operating system, with the goal of gaining secret access to the data held on the phones.

In the internal documents, experts boast about successful access to iPhone data in instances where the NSA is able to infiltrate the computer a person uses to sync their iPhone. Mini-programs, so-called "scripts," then enable additional access to at least 38 iPhone features.

The documents suggest the intelligence specialists have also had similar success in hacking into BlackBerrys. A 2009 NSA document states that it can "see and read SMS traffic." It also notes there was a period in 2009 when the NSA was temporarily unable to access BlackBerry devices. After the Canadian company acquired another firm the same year, it changed the way in compresses its data. But in March 2010, the department responsible at Britain's GCHQ intelligence agency declared in a top secret document it had regained access to BlackBerry data and celebrated with the word, "champagne!"

The documents also state that the NSA has succeeded in accessing the BlackBerry mail system, which is known to be very secure. This could mark a huge setback for the company, which has always claimed that its mail system is uncrackable.

In response to questions from SPIEGEL, BlackBerry officials stated, "It is not for us to comment on media reports regarding alleged government surveillance of telecommunications traffic." The company said it had not programmed a "'back door' pipeline to our platform."

The material viewed by SPIEGEL suggests that the spying on smart phones has not been a mass phenomenon. It has been targeted, in some cases in an individually tailored manner and without the knowledge of the smart phone companies.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Der Spiegel international, 07 Sep 2013

iPhone = spyPhone. Logs all your movements
Germany Created: 7 Aug 2013
Posted on a computer security forum:
I just swiped through my iPhone iOS7 Beta 5 settings and stumbled across the following new default setting...

Settings → Privacy → Location Services → System Services (at the bottom) → Frequent Locations

It kept track of my complete movement profile (location and time tracking) without me knowing anything.

Just to give you an insight whats possible and already used with and without PRISM

(see screenshots below)
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Protecus Security Forum, user "Ladino", 07 Aug 2013

Germany Rejects EU Smart-Meter Recommendations on Cost Concerns
Germany Created: 4 Aug 2013
Germany said it probably won’t follow smart-meter guidance from the European Union -- which has recommended that 80 percent of homes install the devices by 2020 -- because such a move would be too costly for consumers.

The EU proposal is “inadvisable” for Germany, the Economy Ministry said in a statement, citing a study it commissioned from consultants Ernst & Young. For users with low power consumption, the installation cost would be greater than the achievable energy savings, it said.

“The results show that we in Germany have to expand smart measuring systems and meters selectively and in line with the energy switch,” Deputy Economy Minister Stefan Kapferer said, referring to the country’s shift away from nuclear generation and toward renewable power.

Smart meters allow consumers to monitor energy use and costs, and relay the data to suppliers to help them manage demand. Germany, which seeks to more than triple the share of renewables to 80 percent of consumption by 2050, has yet to adopt a firm policy on the devices.

The study on Germany, which has about 48 million traditional meters, “disappointed some in the industry, who had hoped for a stronger recommendation for a mass-market rollout,” Albert Cheung, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said today by e-mail. “This is still a positive development as it clarifies the roles and responsibilities for smart metering, where uncertainty had previously stymied development.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: BusinessWeek, Stefan Nicola (via WEEP newsletter), 01 Aug 2013

Increasing incidence of burnout due to magnetic and electromagnetic fields
Germany Created: 4 Jun 2013
The article by Warnke and Hensinger about the link between burnout and electromagnetic fields, which was published in the edition 1/2013 of “Umwelt-Medizin-Gesellschaft”, a German journal for environmental medicine, is now also available in English. It can be downloaded from:

Englisch and German version :

Increasing incidence of burnout due to magnetic and electromagnetic fields of cell phone networks and other wireless communication technologies

Ulrich Warnke and Peter Hensinger

Abstract: Burnout syndrome (BOS) is a psychosomatic stress disorder. Exogenous stress leads to oxidative cellular stress, the formation of excessive reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, and reaction products (ROS/RNS). This then leads to mitochondrial metabolic dysfunction, which results in a lack of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and subsequently in a diminished performance of cells. Lack of ATP is a crucial factor in BOS, as well as in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). A crucial element in the multisystem disease BOS is inflammation as a consequence of nitrosative and oxidative stress, as well as the acquired mitochondriopathy. Weak ambient magnetic fields (e.g. from transformers in devices) and various radio-frequency resonances increase the level of free radicals and their reaction products that have toxic effects. The nonionizing radiation of cell phone networks and other wireless communication technologies (cell towers, cell phones, Wi-Fi, etc.) also leads to cell stress. There is a correlation between the stress trigger due to living conditions, magnetic fields, and RF radiation of cell phone networks and other wireless communication technologies. The affected person will suffer from functional impairment and diseases; and if these are hereditary, they will be passed on to the next generation as a pre-existing defect, as is the case with e.g. “acquired energy dyssymbiosis syndrome” (AEDS).
Click here to view the source article.
Source: EMFacts, Don Maisch, 01 Jun 2013

Hijacking airplanes with an Android phone
Germany Created: 12 Apr 2013
An extremely well attended talk by Hugo Teso, a security consultant at n-runs AG in Germany, about the completely realistic scenario of plane hijacking via a simple Android app has galvanized the crowd attending the Hack In The Box Conference in Amsterdam today.

Teso, who has been working in IT for the last eleven years and has been a trained commercial pilot for a year longer than that, has combined his two interests in order to bring to light the sorry state of security of aviation computer systems and communication protocols.

By taking advantage of two new technologies for the discovery, information gathering and exploitation phases of the attack, and by creating an exploit framework (SIMON) and an Android app (PlaneSploit) that delivers attack messages to the airplanes' Flight Management Systems (computer unit + control display unit), he demonstrated the terrifying ability to take complete control of aircraft by making virtual planes "dance to his tune."

One of the two technologies he abused is the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), which sends information about each aircraft (identification, current position, altitude, and so on) through an on-board transmitter to air traffic controllers, and allows aircraft equipped with the technology to receive flight, traffic and weather information about other aircraft currently in the air in their vicinity.

The other one is the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), which is used to exchange messages between aircraft and air traffic controllers via radio or satellite, as well as to automatically deliver information about each flight phase to the latter.

Both of these technologies are massively insecure and are susceptible to a number of passive and active attacks. Teso misused the ADS-B to select targets, and the ACARS to gather information about the onboard computer as well as to exploit its vulnerabilities by delivering spoofed malicious messages that affect the "behavior" of the plane.

Based on his own research, Teso developed the SIMON framework that is deliberately made only to work in a virtual environment and cannot be used on real-life aircraft. His testing laboratory consists of a series of software and hardware products, but the connection and communication methods, as well as ways of exploitation, are absolutely the same as they would be in an actual real-world scenario.

Since it's nearly impossible to detect the framework once deployed on the Flight Management System, there is no need to disguise it like a rootkit. By using SIMON, the attacker can upload a specific payload to the remote FSM, upload flight plans, detailed commands or even custom plugins that could be developed for the framework.

To make things even more interesting - or easier - Teso showcased an Andorid application that uses SIMON's powers to remotely control airplanes on the move. The application, fittingly named PlaneSploit, sports a clean and simple interface, but is packed full with features. This is a remarkable example of technology evolution - ten years ago we barely had phones with a color screen, today we can use them to hack aircraft.

PlaneSploit uses the Flightradar24 live flight tracker and you can tap on any airplane found in range. When talking about the range, please keep in mind that we are talking about a proof-of-concept application used in a virtual environment. In real life, the range would be limited depending on the antennas used (if going directly for the plane), or global (if misusing one of the two big ACARS players such as SITA or ARINC).

The user interface is divided by its main functions which are self-explanatory: discovery, information gathering, exploitation and post exploitation. The attacker can click on any active airplane and is receives its identification, current location and final destination. In case a nearby airplane system is exploitable (a number of vulnerability vectors mentioned, not much details provided), the application alerts the user via an in-application alert or a push message. The payload can be uploaded with a tap of a button and from that point on, the flight management system is remotely controlled by an attacker. There are a number of other systems connected to FMS, so further exploitation is possible.

Here are some of the functions Teso showed to the HITBSecConf Amsterdam audience:

Please go here: A way of interacting with the plane where the user can dynamically tap locations on the map and change the plane's course.

Define area: Set detailed filters related to the airplane, for example activate something when a plane is in the area of X kilometers or when it starts flying on a predefined altitude.

Visit ground: Crash the airplane.

Kiss off: Remove itself from the system.

Be punckish: A theatric way of alerting the pilots that something is seriously wrong - lights start flashing and alarms start buzzing.

By showing a sample scenario of a drunk pilot flying over Berlin, Teso mentioned that the Android application also uses the benefits of the accelerometer and therefore a remote attacker can transform the motion of its smartphone into physical changes in the plane's movement.

It's amazing to discover that aviation - an industry where safety is of vital importance and every physical element has one or even two fail-safe mechanisms - is failing to secure the onboard computer, the heart and brain of the plane.

Teso has not shared too many details about the tools he used to effect the attack, as the vulnerabilities have yet to be fixed. He says that he was pleasantly surprised by the reaction of the industry to his research and discoveries, as the companies didn't try to deny the existence of the problems and have vowed to aid him in his research.

He says that older, legacy systems harking back to the 1970s will be difficult, if not impossible, to fix, but that modern ones will easily be updated with patched and modified firmware and software.

The vulnerabilities, of course, differ from system to system and from plane to plane, but it's easy to discover just which ones are present once the attacker identifies the type, model of the plane, and the airline for which it flies.

There is a solution for pilots to regain the control of the plane and land it safely, he says. Attacks of this kind work only when the auto-pilot is on, so the trick is to switch it off, then fly the plane by using analog instruments.

The bad news is that there aren't that many on modern planes, and that the pilots have to detect that the plane's computer is being hacked in order to effect these maneuvers, and that is no easy feat.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Net Security, 10 Apr 2013

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