Feeds

Aircraft bombs may mean end to in-flight Wi-Fi, mobile

New detonation options

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The ability to use Wi-Fi and cellphones on planes may be curtailed just as it was about to take off, following an aviation threat uncovered last week.

Plastic explosives found in laser printer cartridges that traveled from Yemen to the UK and Dubai were connected to cellphone-based detonation circuits, prompting concerns that the bombs could have been triggered by calling or texting the handset, New Scientist and other publications said. New Scientist quoted several security experts who said the discoveries cast doubt on the wisdom of allowing in-flight communications involving the internet or cellphones.

Using voice over IP, text messages, or a simple phone call to trigger an explosion would give airborne suicide bombers new and potentially more reliable methods to detonate their deadly payloads. It might also allow terrorists on the ground to do much the same thing.

The speculation comes as in-flight internet services were just taking flight. About 2,000 passenger aircraft are expected to offer satellite broadband service by the end of the year, compared with a couple dozen in 2008. Mobile carriers point out there are plenty of other ways to detonate a bomb, and say that phones don't constitute any additional threat.

There is no evidence the people behind the bombs found in the UK and Dubai planned to detonate them remotely using the cellphones. The handsets may have been used as timers only.

The New Scientist article is here. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.