Boeing patents an uninterruptible autopilot system

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Boeing patents an uninterruptible autopilot system

Postby Iroquois » Sat Mar 10, 2007 3:03 pm

Scroll to the bottom for a link to the entry for this patent on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. It shows a filing date of February 19, 2003. Of course, the technology needed to assemble this system significantly (significant to 9/11 at least) predates the day the paperwork was submitted to the USPTO.

Image

New autopilot will make another 9/11 impossible
By CHRISTOPHER LEAKE

A hijack-proof piloting system for airliners is being developed to prevent terrorists repeating the 9/11 outrages.

The mechanism is designed to make it impossible to crash the aircraft into air or land targets - and enable the plane to be flown by remote control from the ground in the event of an emergency.

Scientists at aircraft giant Boeing are testing the tamper-proof autopilot system which uses state-of-the-art computer and satellite technology.

It will be activated by the pilot flicking a simple switch or by pressure sensors fitted to the cockpit door that will respond to any excessive force as terrorists try to break into the flight deck.

Once triggered, no one on board will be able to deactivate the system. Currently, all autopilots are manually switched on and off at the discretion of pilots.

The so-called 'uninterruptible autopilot system' - patented secretly by Boeing in the US last week - will connect ground controllers and security services with the aircraft using radio waves and global satellite positioning systems.

After it has been activated, the aircraft will be capable of remote digital control from the ground, enabling operators to fly it like a sophisticated model plane, manoeuvring it vertically and laterally.

A threatened airliner could be flown to a secure military base or a commercial airport, where it would touch down using existing landing aids known as 'autoland function'.

After it had landed, the aircraft's built-in autobrake would bring the plane safely to a halt on the runway.

Boeing insiders say the new anti-hijack kit could be fitted to airliners all over the world, including those in the UK, within the next three years.

The latest move to combat airline terrorists follows The Mail on Sunday's disclosure three weeks ago that scientists in Britain and Germany are developing a passenger-monitoring device.

This will use tiny cameras linked to specialist computers to record every twitch, blink, facial expression or suspicious movement made on board flights in order to identify potential terrorists.

A Boeing spokesman said : "We are constantly studying ways we can enhance the safety, security and efficiency of the world's airline fleet.

"There is a need in the industry for a technique that conclusively prevents unauthorised persons gaining access to the controls and threatening the safety of passengers.

"Once this system is initiated, no one on board is capable of controlling the flight, making it useless for anyone to threaten violence in order to gain control."


Find this story at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/a ... ge_id=1770
©2007 Associated New Media


System and method for automatically controlling a path of travel of a vehicle

Abstract
The method and system for automatically controlling a path of travel of a vehicle include engaging an automatic control system when the security of the onboard controls is jeopardized. Engagement may be automatic or manual from inside the vehicle or remotely via a communication link. Any onboard capability to supersede the automatic control system may then be disabled by disconnecting the onboard controls and/or providing uninterruptible power to the automatic control system via a path that does not include the onboard accessible power control element(s). The operation of the vehicle is then controlled via the processing element of the automatic control system. The control commands may be received from a remote location and/or from predetermined control commands that are stored onboard the vehicle.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Pars ... PN/7142971
Last edited by Iroquois on Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby AlicetheKurious » Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:14 pm

The technology has already existed for a long time, apparently.

http://www.911-strike.com/remote.htm

http://www.911-strike.com/remote_bb.htm
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Postby Iroquois » Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:04 pm

Thank you for the links, Alice. I've read those articles by Joe Vialls and heard the claims by Von Buelow many times. But, this article added a bit of credibility that neither of those two had, not with me at least, to the theory that a remote guidance system could be added to an existing Boeing aircraft.

Perhaps like Von Buelow says, such a system is already installed on every Boeing 757 and 767. And, maybe the tallest buildings of the WTC complex were built with explosives already installed. I am willing to hear arguments for either claim. But, I would need a lot more verification before I was ready to believe them.

The key phase in the above article from the Daily Mail for me is this: "Boeing insiders say the new anti-hijack kit could be fitted to airliners all over the world, including those in the UK, within the next three years."

This comes very close to an official acknowledgement that retro-fitting a Boeing 757 or 767 with such a system would not be too difficult a task, or three years would sound like a completely unrealistic time-frame.

We discussed the possibility that this tactic was used in the 9/11 attacks a bit in this thread: http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board/v ... php?t=7989

I have to say though, the wording is a bit vague. The way I read it, however, is that a significant percentage of existing large airliners, if not nearly all, could be fitted with this system, not just that new ones coming off the line, within three years. And that, presumably, would include the very popular 757 and 767 models, the models (most believe to have been) used in the 9/11 attacks.
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Re: Boeing patents an uninterruptible autopilot system

Postby elfismiles » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:36 am

Hacker uses an Android to remotely attack and hijack an airplane
http://blogs.computerworld.com/cybercri ... k-airplane


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjRzqGUFECI

http://conference.hitb.org/hitbsecconf2 ... Series.pdf

Hacker uses an Android to remotely attack and hijack an airplane
By Darlene Storm
April 10, 2013 4:28 PM EDT

The Hack in the Box (#HITB2013AMS) security conference in Amsterdam has a very interesting lineup of talks [pdf]. One that jumped out was the Aircraft Hacking: Practical Aero Series presented by Hugo Teso, a security consultant at n.runs in Germany. According to the abstract, “This presentation will be a practical demonstration on how to remotely attack and take full control of an aircraft, exposing some of the results of my three years research on the aviation security field. The attack performed will follow the classical methodology, divided in discovery, information gathering, exploitation and post-exploitation phases. The complete attack will be accomplished remotely, without needing physical access to the target aircraft at any time, and a testing laboratory will be used to attack virtual airplanes systems.

While keeping an eye on Twitter #HITB2013AMS, greatly interesting tweets started to appear as hackers who attended were excited. I will add some of those throughout this article.
Before his presentation, Teso recommended that people should have a little background knowledge on aviation and aircraft systems to better understand what he was going to explain. Here’s a few important facts: Automated Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) has no security as was pointed out at Def Con 20 shortly before a hacker was able to inject ghost planes into radar. It is unencrypted and unauthenticated. Teso said, “Attacks range from passive attacks (eavesdropping) to active attacks (message jamming, replaying, injection.” The Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) also has no security; it “is used for exchanging text messages between aircraft and ground stations via radio (VHF) or satellite.” Although his talk did not focus on the vulnerabilities in those two protocols, he used them to find targets.

Anyone with the right tools and a little know-how can read and send these ACARS messages. Teso purchased hardware from eBay that provided “actual flight code software” for “training” such as Flight Management System made by Rockwell. He also needed a radio transmitter and explained about software radio systems before the talk. He audited real aircraft code, searching for vulnerabilities to exploit, but used a lab with virtual airplanes as opposed to hijacking an actual jet in flight. Hijacking a real plane during a flight was “too dangerous and unethical.”

Help Net Security was present at the demo and explained:

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 aircrafts by making virtual planes "dance to his tune."
According to Teso’s presentation slides [pdf], the ACARS datalink allowed for “real-time data transmission” and all communications between planes and airports are sent unencrypted. Teso used ACARS to exploit and break into the airplane’s onboard computer system and then upload Flight Management System (FMS) data. FMS could be uploaded by software defined radio and ground service providers.


Once he was into the airplane’s computer, he was able to manipulate the steering of a Boeing jet while the aircraft was in “autopilot” mode. The only countermeasure available to pilots, if they even realized they were being hacked, would be to turn off autopilot. Yet many planes no longer have old analog instruments for manual flying. Teso said he could take control of most all airplane systems; he could even cause the plane to crash by setting it on a collision course with another plane. He could also give the passengers a serious adrenaline rush by making the oxygen masks drop down.

Teso used his Samsung Galaxy and a specially crafted app called PlaneSploit to demonstrate how to hack an airplane’s computer. (Thank you for tweeting the image @isa56k!) Crime Site also showed a quick clip of the hack. And no, PlaneSploit is not going to be available to the masses to hijack planes with their Android devices.


Help Net Security said that some of the functions that Teso showed off were:

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.
Just the same, as you might imagine, numerous security people that heard Teso’s talk on hacking and hijacking airplanes are not looking forward the their next flight.

Another not-too-comforting thought by Teso was that many aircraft onboard computers are running outdated software and fail to meet modern safety requirements. While all airplanes are not doomed, they are not exactly safe either. Teso said he’s woorking on the next version of ACARS which will be encrypted. The ACARS successor will roll out over the next 20 years.

Hack in the Box Amsterdam was quick and has posted the presentation slides for all of today's talks.

Another Hack in the Box security conference presentation is also about airplane insecurity, but it is more focused on airport insecurity. Beyond TSA checkpoints: Weaponizing everyday items sold in airports.



http://blogs.computerworld.com/cybercri ... k-airplane
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Re: Boeing patents an uninterruptible autopilot system

Postby Nordic » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:06 pm

I know I've mentioned this before but I was told by someone who worked in top secret military technology that jetliners could be flown remotely and landed with extreme levels of accuracy .... and I was told this long before 911.
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Re: Boeing patents an uninterruptible autopilot system

Postby 82_28 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:17 pm

Nordic wrote:I know I've mentioned this before but I was told by someone who worked in top secret military technology that jetliners could be flown remotely and landed with extreme levels of accuracy .... and I was told this long before 911.


Oh absolutely. My brother is an airline pilot. He's told me as much.

One time flying into Seattle during a windstorm and shit tons of differing wind shear as the altitude dropped I couldn't imagine how a human could control that plane. We were pointed in a different direction that we were headed. The way we came into the landing strip I thought for sure the landing gear would break off, because of the angle, turbulence and trajectory. I called him up when I got off the plane and asked him how that plane got landed. He said "computers". No human (for the most part) can safely land a plane in those conditions without the assistance of the calculations from the computers and the calculations come from a triangulation of control tower, what is on board the plane and other radar systems around. He asked me what type of plane I was on, it was some 7something. He said, oh yeah, those computers literally make millions of adjustments craft wide per second. No human could have done it, he said.
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Postby Perelandra » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:53 pm

I remember watching endless looping of plane crashes that day with a friend we rescued from the airport. One of the first statements out of my mouth was something intuitive about "pilots didn't do that" and I was rapidly shushed by the people who probably thought I was being a flake, because of course, terrorists.
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Re: Boeing patents an uninterruptible autopilot system

Postby dbcooper41 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:07 pm

just an fyi to those interested in this thread.
if you will review some of my much earlier posts about robots and the hri meeting immediately after 9/11 you will see a long list of people.
a quick google search of their writings, grants and areas of expertise will show most are/were heavily involved in UAVs, remote control, and sensor fusion. all the essentials for controllig an airplane(aka drone) from a secure location.
my research totally satified my easily satisfied mind that 9/11 was pulled off by the high tech MIC/nasa/darpa/air force crowd.
i'm no longer comfortable discussing this in detail publicly but if anyone is interested message me and i'll be happy to point you towards lots of interesting factoids. :whisper:
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Re: Boeing patents an uninterruptible autopilot system

Postby KeenInsight » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:54 am

Will make it impossible? Yeah Right, who are they fooling. Only the clueless, because 'terrorists.' It'll make it easier to 'create' more 9/11s as they wish.

The Lone Gunmen episode predicted the aircraft were remote controlled after all, which was technology already possible and in use.
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Re: Boeing patents an uninterruptible autopilot system

Postby justdrew » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:58 am

within minutes of turning on the radio and hearing what had happened, I thought someone had hacked the aircraft control systems and taken over the planes that way.
By 1964 there were 1.5 million mobile phone users in the US
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Re: Boeing patents an uninterruptible autopilot system

Postby justdrew » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:30 am

By 1964 there were 1.5 million mobile phone users in the US
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