RAF is hiring cyber experts in new UK military strategy to address ‘vulnerabilities’ | UK | News


The move comes as the military attempts to quell the possibility of hackers meddling with RAF planes which have become increasingly dependent on computer networks.

Tim Robinson, the editor-in-chief of Aerospace magazine, said: “It’s a growing battlespace in the aviation arena and as these aircraft platforms get more connected, you want to make sure that they are secure.

“If someone got into the backend and rerouted all your spares, why would you have to bomb a runway?”

He also told The Telegraph: “All this information and systems to keep aircraft operational, these have vulnerabilities that you have to look at.”

Mr Robinson also commented on part the new roles will play in increasing the security of unmanned drones.

He added: “The unmanned aerial vehicles are flown by satellite link. You want to make sure that all those are encrypted so no one can reroute them.”

An RAF spokesperson also commented on the military roles that involve “cyber vulnerability analysis and investigations on air platforms and air systems”.

They said the positions were “within one of our specialist defensive units, to assure the protection of the RAF’s aircraft and their support systems”.

New fighters, like the F-35B, increasingly share information with online systems such as the levels of fuel, parts and ammunition onboard.

The F-35B relies on more than 8million lines of software code to be fully functional.

If RAF systems are breached, experienced hackers could control everything from navigation aids to the controls of the plane using the correct malware.

The oxygen levels to the pilot could also be tampered with using the right hack.

Mr Robinson emphasised that breaches of this nature would not be possible from any experienced cyber criminal, but that military operations from China or Russia could breach current systems.



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