Researcher Hacks Aircraft Controls With Android Smartphone

Via: The Register

By Iain Thomson in San Francisco
11th April 2013

A presentation at the Hack In The Box security summit in Amsterdam has demonstrated that it’s possible to take control of aircraft flight systems and communications using an Android smartphone and some specialized attack code.

Hugo Teso, a security researcher at N.Runs and a commercial airline pilot, spent three years developing the code, buying second-hand commercial flight system software and hardware online and finding vulnerabilities within it. His presentation will cause a few sleepless nights among those with an interest in aircraft security.

Teso’s attack code, dubbed SIMON, along with an Android app called PlaneSploit, can take full control of flight systems and the pilot’s displays. The hacked aircraft could even be controlled using a smartphone’s accelerometer to vary its course and speed by moving the handset about.

Read more: here

I knew they would come up with an app for that…
It’s only a matter of time….
-Moose

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10 Companies Profiting The Most From War

Via: USA Today

Samuel Weigley, March 10, 2013

The business of war is profitable. In 2011, the 100 largest contractors sold $410 billion in arms and military services. Just 10 of those companies sold over $208 billion. Based on a list of the top 100 arms-producing and military services companies in 2011 compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 companies with the most military sales worldwide.

These companies have benefited tremendously from the growth in military spending in the U.S., which by far has the largest military budget in the world. In 2000, the U.S. defense budget was approximately $312 billion. By 2011, the figure had grown to $712 billion. Arm sales grew alongside general defense spending growth. SIPRI noted that between 2002 and 2011, arms sales among the top 100 companies grew by 51%.

However, the trend has recently reversed. In 2011, the top 100 arms dealers sold 5% less compared to 2010. Susan Jackson, a SIPRI defense expert, said in an email to 24/7 Wall St. that austerity measures in Western Europe and the U.S. have delayed or slowed the procurement of different weapons systems. Austerity concerns have exacerbated matters. Federal budget cuts that took effect in March mean military spending could contract by more than $500 billion over the coming decade unless policymakers negotiate a pullback on the mandated cuts.

In addition, the U.S.’ involvement in conflicts abroad continue to wind down. The last American convoy in Iraq left the country in December 2011. Troop withdrawals from Afghanistan also began in 2011. Finally, SIPRI pointed out sanctions on arms transfers to Libya have contributed to declining arms sales.

Many defense contractors are looking overseas to make up for slowing sales in the U.S. and Europe. Arms producers are especially keen on Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Asia, Jackson said. For instance, BAE is securing contracts with Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, the chief financial officer of Northrop Grumman has recently indicated his company may sell its Global Hawk airplane to South Korea or Japan.

Based on the SIPRI report, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 biggest weapons companies. Arms were defined as sales to military customers, either for procurement or for export, but do not include sales of general purpose items, such as oil or computer equipment. We looked at sales figures for two years through 2011, among other metrics. Here are the 10 companies that profit the most from war:

Read more: here

But the jobs…We can’t give up the jobs…
-Moose

Elon Musk: Boeing 787 Battery Fundamentally Unsafe

Via: Flight Global

By:   Zach Rosenberg Washington DC
11:19 29 Jan 2013 

The lithium ion batteries installed on the Boeing 787 are inherently unsafe, says Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and owner of electric car maker Tesla.

“Unfortunately, the pack architecture supplied to Boeing is inherently unsafe,” writes Musk in an email to Flightglobal.

“Large cells without enough space between them to isolate against the cell-to-cell thermal domino effect means it is simply a matter of time before there are more incidents of this nature,” he adds.

Both Boeing and Tesla use batteries fueled by lithium cobalt oxide, which is among the most energy-dense and flammable chemistries of lithium-ion batteries on the market. While Boeing elected to use a battery with a grouping of eight large cells, Tesla’s batteries contain thousands of smaller cells that are independently separated to prevent fire in a single cell from harming the surrounding ones.

“Moreover, when thermal runaway occurs with a big cell, a proportionately larger amount of energy is released and it is very difficult to prevent that energy from then heating up the neighboring cells and causing a domino effect that results in the entire pack catching fire,” says Musk.

An aerospace-capable version of Tesla’s battery has been developed for use in SpaceX’s Falcon 9 space launch vehicle. SpaceX, also owned by Musk, competes with Boeing/Lockheed Martin joint venture United Launch Alliance for customers. Boeing has thus far declined offers of assistance from Tesla and SpaceX, says Musk.

Read more: here

Elon Musk: Boeing 787 Battery Fundamentally Unsafe

Via: Flight Global

By: Zach Rosenberg Washington DC
11:19 29 Jan 2013

The lithium ion batteries installed on the Boeing 787 are inherently unsafe, says Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and owner of electric car maker Tesla.

“Unfortunately, the pack architecture supplied to Boeing is inherently unsafe,” writes Musk in an email to Flightglobal.

“Large cells without enough space between them to isolate against the cell-to-cell thermal domino effect means it is simply a matter of time before there are more incidents of this nature,” he adds.

Both Boeing and Tesla use batteries fueled by lithium cobalt oxide, which is among the most energy-dense and flammable chemistries of lithium-ion batteries on the market. While Boeing elected to use a battery with a grouping of eight large cells, Tesla’s batteries contain thousands of smaller cells that are independently separated to prevent fire in a single cell from harming the surrounding ones.

“Moreover, when thermal runaway occurs with a big cell, a proportionately larger amount of energy is released and it is very difficult to prevent that energy from then heating up the neighboring cells and causing a domino effect that results in the entire pack catching fire,” says Musk.

An aerospace-capable version of Tesla’s battery has been developed for use in SpaceX’s Falcon 9 space launch vehicle. SpaceX, also owned by Musk, competes with Boeing/Lockheed Martin joint venture United Launch Alliance for customers. Boeing has thus far declined offers of assistance from Tesla and SpaceX, says Musk.

Read more: here

Boeing New Aircraft Orders Implode From 183 To Just 2 In January

Via: Zero Hedge

After the now several week old exploding battery fiasco, Boeing is nowhere closer to resolving the recurring problem for its appropriately renamed Nightmareliner. But the worst for the company may be yet ahead: as the following chart from Stone McCarthy shows, January new aircraft orders collapsed from 183 in December to a meaningless 2 in January: a seasonally strong month, with some 150 orders a year ago, and more weakness to come as Boeing just warned its first Norwegian delivery due in April may be delayed.

 But while it was expected that the company’s quality control failure would eventually catch up to it, the broader implication is that this month’s Durable Goods number, released February 27 and of which transportation is always a key variable at least at the headline level, will be a disaster.

Read more: here

Boeing New Aircraft Orders Implode From 183 To Just 2 In January

Via: Zero Hedge

After the now several week old exploding battery fiasco, Boeing is nowhere closer to resolving the recurring problem for its appropriately renamed Nightmareliner. But the worst for the company may be yet ahead: as the following chart from Stone McCarthy shows, January new aircraft orders collapsed from 183 in December to a meaningless 2 in January: a seasonally strong month, with some 150 orders a year ago, and more weakness to come as Boeing just warned its first Norwegian delivery due in April may be delayed.

 But while it was expected that the company’s quality control failure would eventually catch up to it, the broader implication is that this month’s Durable Goods number, released February 27 and of which transportation is always a key variable at least at the headline level, will be a disaster.

Read more: here

NTSB Questions Boeing’s 787 Battery Design and Certification After Short Circuit

Via: Seattle Times

Seattle Times aerospace reporter

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has pinpointed the start of the 787 Dreamliner battery fire on a parked Japan Airlines jet a month ago today as a short circuit inside a single cell.

The agency still hasn’t identified the cause of the initial short circuit but has narrowed down the suspects.
Details provided by the NTSB make clear that Boeing will have to redesign the battery for a long-term fix.
In addition, the NTSB pointed to failures in the airplane certification process conducted by Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which failed to identify the hazards revealed by this incident.

Read more: here