Government investigators warn that airline passengers could hack the computers in a cockpit

IndustriesAssociated Press

A government watchdog says the same Internet access now available on most commercial flights also makes it possible for hackers to bring down a plane.

The finding by the Government Accountability Office presents a chilling new scenario for passengers. The report doesn't suggest it would be easy to do, or very likely. But it points out that as airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration attempt to modernize planes with Internet-based technology, attackers have a new vulnerability they could exploit.

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A worst-case scenario is that a terrorist with a laptop would sit among the passengers and take control of the airplane using its passenger Wi-Fi. The report comes after a similar warning was issued in March about the FAA's air traffic control system.