Gov't watchdog warns of weaknesses in air traffic control system's cybersecurity protections

IndustriesAssociated Press

A government watchdog is warning that cybersecurity weaknesses could lead to disruptions and undermine the safety of the nation's air traffic control system.

The Government Accountability Office says the Federal Aviation Administration has taken steps to protect the air traffic system from cyber-based threats, but that, quote, "significant security control weaknesses remain."

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One area of weaknesses is the ability to prevent and detect unauthorized access to the vast network of computer and communications systems the FAA uses to process and track flights around the world.

There also are inadequate protections to prevent entry into air traffic computer systems from other, less-secure computer systems not directly involved in traffic operations.

The FAA said it is aware of the importance of the matter and has achieved several milestones in improving its cybersecurity.