Nearly two decades after the worst terrorist attack in American history, lawmakers sound the alarm over the devastating consequences of cyberterrorism.
Per The Hill:
Airports and airlines increasingly rely on cyber networks to operate, yet there are no federal regulations specifically governing their use.
Lawmakers say they are drafting legislation that would impose new standards for cybersecurity as experts argue U.S. airlines are vulnerable to attacks.
“Cybersecurity risks, without question, represent the most preeminent and existent threat to the continuous safe, secure and efficient operations on U.S. airports and the global aviation system,” Michael Stephens, the head of IT and general counsel for Tampa International Airport, said at a congressional hearing last week.
While the industry has its own cybersecurity standards, lawmakers argue they aren’t enough and that the roles of federal agencies have to be more clearly spelled out when it comes to addressing cyber threats to aviation.
Nineteen terrorists perpetrated the September 11, 2001 attacks at the cost of half a million dollars.
The tragedy became the catalyst for aviation safety reforms meant to prevent the weaponizing of commercial airplanes.
As technology advances, officials express fear that terrorists could hack into computer systems designed to control aircraft in flight – thereby turning them into self-guided missiles without even being on board.