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FAA Computers Remain Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks Despite Upgrades

Image: www.gdc4s.com
Image: www.gdc4s.com

Despite improvements at various radar facilities, the Federal Aviation Administration computer systems remain vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to a new government review.

The Department of Transportation’s Inspector General said while FAA has made progress in securing some air-traffic control facilities, the majority of sites have not been upgraded.

According to The Associated Press, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said the agency is working on a timetable and will provide the IG with that information soon. FAA also said upgrades to critical air-traffic control systems have taken precedence over the intrusion detection improvements at various facilities.

FAA cannot effectively monitor air-traffic control for cyber attacks or take action to stop them without the detection abilities, the inspector general said in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

A government audit last year concluded that air-traffic control systems were vulnerable to cyber attacks. Some support systems had been breached and allowed hackers access to personnel records and network servers.

In a letter to FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, two senior members of Congress expressed their worries about the vulnerabilities. Rep. John Mica, a Florida lawmaker who is ranking Republican on the House Transportation panel, and Rep. Thomas Petri, R-Wisc., urged Babbitt in a letter last week to take any necessary steps to immediately address the security issue.

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