Daily Video: FBI Probes Claim of Airliner In-Flight Control Hack

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2015-05-19 Print this article Print

FBI warrant probes claim of United Airlines in-flight control hack; Intel, Altera reportedly resume acquisition talks; AT&T uses virtual machines as part of larger SDN-NFV effort; and there's more.

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Today's topics include an FBI probe into a security researcher's claim that airliner flight control systems can be hacked, Intel's continuing its pursuit of Altera, steps toward network virtualization from AT&T and the OpenStack Foundation reports the successful launch of new initiatives.

Security researcher Chris Roberts is in the news again, a month after he was denied access to a United Airlines flight after posting a tweet about hacking into an airliner's flight control systems while in-flight.

Roberts is in the news again because an FBI search warrant relating to the purported flight control hack has been publicly posted.

According to the warrant, Roberts had advised the FBI that he had identified vulnerabilities with the in-flight entertainment systems on Boeing 737-800, 737-900, 757-200 and Airbus A-320 aircraft. The warrant also noted that Roberts said he had exploited in-flight vulnerabilities 15 to 20 times from 2011 to 2014.

Intel reportedly is back in talks about buying out smaller semiconductor competitor Altera more than a month after negotiations broke off when Altera rejected Intel's offer of $54 a share.

According to reports in both CNBC and the New York Post, a resolution to the talks one way or the other could be reached relatively quickly, perhaps within a few weeks. Neither Intel nor Altera officials are commenting to journalists about the reports.

AT&T executives in December 2014 laid out their ambitious plans to virtualize 75 percent of the carrier's massive network by 2020.

The six-year AT&T Domain 2.0 effort is designed to transform its network from one built on expensive, complex gear and copper wiring to one that is based on software, driven by the principles of software-defined networking (SDN) and network-functions virtualization. By the end of 2015, AT&T officials hope to have completed about 5 percent of the transformation.

John Donavan, senior executive vice president of technology and operations at AT&T, explained in a blog post that 5 percent is a critical step and AT&T now conducts most of its DNS look-ups in virtual machines running in the cloud.

The dream of an OpenStack-powered planet is moving a step closer to reality. As the OpenStack Summit kicked off this week, the OpenStack Foundation announced the successful launch of new interoperability and federation initiatives that have been in the works for years.

The OpenStack Foundation is rolling out its first round of interoperability testing that defines a common core for all OpenStack-powered platforms.

The first group of companies that have successfully passed OpenStack-powered testing include Blue Box Cloud, Bright Computing and DataCentred.


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