Cybercriminals have hacked a famous aircraft radar company that tracks aircraft in real-time for the third time in two days. The company said that although the services have been hampered during the time it has been hacked, no user data has been compromised. The attack belongs to the Distributed Denial of Service attack. On Tuesday, the site had recovered from the episodes with slight glitches that caused loading errors.
The air tracking service that was attacked, Flightrader24, allows both commercial and passenger aircraft to be tracked mid-air and in real-time. Accessibility of such data to hackers can severely jeopardize such aircraft’s safety where such sensitive data as the route taking by these aircraft can be used for dangerous purposes like physical attacks and even for hi-jacking passenger and civilian data.
Such sensitive data that can fall into hackers’ hands include the plane’s model, flight number, and distress signal code. Such tracking services have a broad user base. The tracking services track about 180,000 flights by a user base of two million approximately. Some of the data that can be found on the site, as mentioned above, can be accessed only through payments.
With Airbus and Boeing under the tracking system, a security breach in the software can be a reason to worry. Not only that, it can be a cause of the problem to public institutions, like journalists and flight engineers, who need to access this information and rely heavily on these tracking services for data in the event of a terror attack or an accident.
The three attacks by cybercriminals within two days only exposed the vulnerability of such a system. They might act as a sign of encouragement for cyber attackers with graver motives to hack and get forced access to such data.