Radar Screen

Scott Cohn, CNBC
Jun. 3, 2013, 7:32 PM

Cyber hackers have already shown what damage they can do, but this may be the scariest hacking story yet, if it came true.

What if they could hack into the air traffic control system? It’s frightening to imagine, you’re at 30-thousand feet and suddenly your pilot is flying blind or taking evasive action to avoid another plane.

Brad “Renderman” Haines, who works in IT support for a small company in Canada by day and is a hacker by night, told CNBC that he has proof that the air traffic control system can be hacked.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s next generation air traffic control system, which, when it’s fully in place by the end of this decade, is supposed to make flying “more convenient and dependable.”

According to Haines, what it really does is make the whole system vulnerable to hackers because the system uses GPS (Global Positioning System) data instead of just radar.

“No good is gonna come of this,” he added.

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