Feeds

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

New detonation options

Best practices for enterprise data

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. ®

Recommendations for simplifying OS migration

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms
Readers chat to the pair who flog the tech
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?