Avionics News November 2015 - 46
CAN YOUR AVIONICS BE HACKED?
Continued from page 44
Modern avionics also generate a lot of data, from engine
temperatures and power settings to flight routes and times, and
much more. Even a product as relatively basic as Garmin's
G1000 integrated flight deck records various parameters
describing how the aircraft was flown, including data like roll
and pitch angles, and location/date/time. That data's security
could be important to operators, and not necessarily for helping
determine when an engine should be overhauled.
For example, a G1000 features an SD card for storing and
later retrieval of flight data. When connected to an optional
GDL 59 Data Link transceiver, that data can be automatically downloaded for storage and analysis. How secure is all
that? "The (GDL 59's) data is encrypted and the connection
is authenticated via password entered by the crew," a Garmin
spokesperson told Avionics News. "The data stored in the GDL
59 is specified by the aircraft OEM and can be quite extensive." The "data stored on the SD card in the G1000 is fixed set
of approximately 75 parameters," the company added.
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What should operators do to ensure their avionics' security,
plus that of their operational data? "It's important to think of
security as a process and not just a series of applied technologies," Rockwell Collins' Kearney told us. "Implementing the
top 10 technologies does not mean all threats are covered.
Good security comes from a mature development process that
incorporates security and risk assessment during the entire
system design lifecycle. A solid development process allows
for designing a secure system with elements such as encryption
and authentication correctly placed to fit the risk profile and
meet the needs of the end user.
"We recommend that operators establish, test and maintain a
security plan for their aircraft's systems and data. The plan may
include things like the use of strong passwords, regular security
updates to software and tracking of maintenance equipment.
This is especially important for any computer used to create
or update USB devices that may be used to transfer data to
the aircraft or any portable electronic devices used to interface
directly with the aircraft systems. Security is not a once-anddone exercise; it is a continual process that must evolve as the
security landscape changes."
And that's exactly what the FAA and industry are doing. q
Please visit us at booth N4306, at this year's NBAA Business Aviation & Exhibition in Las Vegas, NV - November 17-19
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