Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category


[Airport Informer] There are no words that we can add to report on this outrage today, other than to say that our thoughts remain with all of those directly and indirectly affected this morning. 

Our thoughts are with all of those affected by this tradegy

    Our thoughts are with all of those affected by this tradegy.

 


Airport Informer
22nd March, 2016


 


[The Telegraph] A Syrian refugee has been stuck in a Turkish airport for a year, forced to live in the “Problematic Passengers Room” and constantly facing the threat of being deported to Syria, according to Amnesty.

1 year is enough says Fadi Mansour

1 year is enough says Fadi Mansour

Fadi Mansour has been arbitrarily detained in inhumane conditions at Istanbul Ataturk Airport since March 15, 2015, Amnesty International claimed as it urged Ankara to release him.

Mr Mansour apparently told relatives he is considering asking to be return to Syria because “at least there I die once and it’s over, instead of dying more and more each day I spend in here”.

His lawyer has urged the courts to release him from detention, where Amnesty says he has no natural light and artificial lighting is constantly on.

During his year in the airport, he was attacked by another detainee and asked to return to Lebanon. After arriving there, the Lebanese authorities denied him entry and he came back to Turkey where authorities re-detained him, Amnesty said.

Turkish Airlines aircrafts taxi at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, where a Syrian refugee has been stuck for a year Photo: REUTERS

Turkish Airlines aircraft taxi at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, where a Syrian refugee has been stuck for a year Photo: REUTERS

But after being kidnapped and held for ransom by a gang, he left for Turkey in 2014.

A month later, he left for Malaysia which would not allow admission because of the alleged use of false identity papers, Amnesty said.

In what appears to be Mr Mansour’s Twitter account, he has urged the authorities to let him leave, in one picture he wrote: “One year is enough.”

Read the full story at The Telegraph…..

 


By Raziye Akkoc
8:01PM 15 March, 2016



[NBCCHICARGO.COM] A cyber security expert tells NBC5 Investigates he has found a way to hack into the satellite communications systems used in multiple industries.

“These devices are wide open right now,” said Ruben Santamarta, a security consultant based in Madrid, Spain with IOActive.

"For the aerospace sector we can disrupt satellite communications, [and] potentially modify the data that goes through those channels," said Santamarta

“For the aerospace sector we can disrupt satellite communications, [and] potentially modify the data that goes through those channels,” said Santamarta. Image: nbcchicargo.com

Pilots, ship captains and military personnel rely on satellite networks to communicate when there are no phone lines or wireless networks available.

“If someone can see the password or that user name it’s over,” he added. “Those vulnerabilities can be exploited to remotely compromise those devices.

Santamarta said he used something called reverse engineering — or decoding — to hack satellite communications equipment used in aerospace, maritime and military industries.

“In the military sector they use satellite terminals for combat units,” said Santamarta. “They normally encrypt the radio [transmissions] they send. But we can disrupt the satellite communications channel so we can prevent combat units [from asking] for help if they are being attacked.”

And in the maritime sector, satellite communications are used to send and receive vital information that affects the safety of the crew.

“If they are being attacked by terrorists, or they are suffering fire, they can send a distress call,” he said. “But we found we can modify the firmware in some of those terminals, so we can prevent a crew from sending a distress call.”

Santamarta recently published a 25-page report and went public with his findings at Defcon 22 – the largest hacking conference in the world – held earlier this month in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“For the aerospace sector we can disrupt satellite communications, [and] potentially modify the data that goes through those channels,” said Santamarta. “In some cases you need physical access to compromise the devices we analyzed, but in other cases you can use Wi-Fi or the entertainment network to access that device.”

His research took place in a lab setting and has not been tested on an actual commercial plane. But his findings have raised concerns in the aviation industry.

Read the full story at NBCCHICARGO.OM here….

 


NBCCHICARGO.COM
21st August, 2014


 

 

 


[Euractiv.com] Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev threatened on Tuesday (5 August) to retaliate for the grounding of a subsidiary of national airline Aeroflot because of EU sanctions, with one newspaper reporting that European flights to Asia over Siberia could be banned.

Low-cost carrier Dobrolyot, operated by Aeroflot, suspended all flights last week after its airline leasing agreement was cancelled under European Union sanctions because it flies to Crimea, a region Russia annexed from Ukraine in March.

“We should discuss possible retaliation,” Medvedev said at a meeting with the Russian transport minister and a deputy chief executive of Aeroflot.

The business daily Vedomosti reported that Russia may restrict or ban European airlines from flying over Siberia on Asian routes, a move that would impose costs on European carriers by making flights take longer and require more fuel.

Vedomosti quoted unnamed sources as saying the foreign and transport ministries were discussing the action, which would put European carriers at a disadvantage to Asian rivals but would also cost Russia money it collects in overflight fees.

Shares in Aeroflot – which according to Vedomosti gets around $300 million a year in fees paid by foreign airlines flying over Siberia – tumbled after the report, closing down 5.9% compared with a 1.4% drop on the broad index.

Siberia ban would force EU carriers into costly detours

At the height of the Cold War, most Western airlines were barred from flying through Russian airspace to Asian cities, and instead had to operate via the Gulf or the US airport of Anchorage, Alaska on the polar route.

European carriers now fly over Siberia on their rapidly growing routes to countries such as China, Japan and South Korea, paying the fees which have been subject to a long dispute between Brussels and Moscow.

Vedomosti quoted one source as saying a ban could cost airlines like Lufthansa, British Airways and Air France €1 billion over three months, but industry experts said that figure was probably too high.

Avoiding Russian airspace would probably be 25-50% more expensive than paying fees for transit, said Russian aviation consultant Boris Ryabok, estimating European airlines would lose around $100-200 million per year, less than the cost to Russia of the lost fees.

Lufthansa said it operates about 180 flights a week through Siberian airspace but declined further comment, as did British Airways.

The EU has widened its sanctions after last month’s downing of a Malaysian airliner over territory in eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Moscow rebels, with the loss of 298 lives.

 

Read the full story at Euractiv.com…..

 


Euactiv.com
6th Aug, 2014



[World Bulletin] Cybersecurity researcher Ruben Santamarta says he has figured out how to hack the satellite communications equipment on passenger jets through their WiFi and in-flight entertainment systems – a claim that, if confirmed, could prompt a review of aircraft security.

“In theory, a hacker could use a plane’s onboard WiFi signal or inflight entertainment system to hack into its avionics equipment, potentially disrupting or modifying satellite communications”

Santamarta, a consultant with cybersecurity firm IOActive, is scheduled to lay out the technical details of his research at this week’s Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas, an annual convention where thousands of hackers and security experts meet to discuss emerging cyber threats and improve security measures.

His presentation on Thursday on vulnerabilities in satellite communications systems used in aerospace and other industries is expected to be one of the most widely watched at the conference. “These devices are wide open.

The goal of this talk is to help change that situation,” Santamarta, 32, told Reuters. The researcher said he discovered the vulnerabilities by “reverse engineering” – or decoding – highly specialized software known as firmware, used to operate communications equipment made by Cobham Plc, Harris Corp, EchoStar Corp’s Hughes Network Systems, Iridium Communications Inc and Japan Radio Co Ltd.

 

In theory, a hacker could use a plane’s onboard WiFi signal or inflight entertainment system to hack into its avionics equipment, potentially disrupting or modifying satellite communications, which could interfere with the aircraft’s navigation and safety systems, Santamarta said.

He acknowledged that his hacks have only been tested in controlled environments, such as IOActive’s Madrid laboratory, and they might be difficult to replicate in the real world.

Santamarta said he decided to go public to encourage manufacturers to fix what he saw as risky security flaws. Representatives for Cobham, Harris, Hughes and Iridium said they had reviewed Santamarta’s research and confirmed some of his findings, but downplayed the risks.

For instance, Cobham, whose Aviation 700 aircraft satellite communications equipment was the focus of Santamarta’s research, said it is not possible for hackers to use WiFi signals to interfere with critical systems that rely on satellite communications for navigation and safety.

The hackers must have physical access to Cobham’s equipment, according to Cobham spokesman Greg Caires. “In the aviation and maritime markets we serve, there are strict requirements restricting such access to authorized personnel only,” said Caires. A Japan Radio Co spokesman declined to comment, saying information on such vulnerabilities was not public.

Read the full story here…… 

 


World Bulletin 4th Aug, 2014



[airport-technology.com] A consortium comprising Air France, Orange, SITA, Toulouse-Blagnac Airport and RESA will offer near field communications (NFC) technology to Air France passengers.

“This trial with Air France and Orange marks the first NFC boarding pass that provides a truly interoperable and scalable solution for the industry.

Photo: courtesy of SITA.

Using the  Touch&Pass app, passengers travelling on Air France flights from Toulouse-Blagnac to Paris-Orly can complete the entire boarding process through their Orange NFC-based smartphones, providing a seamless boarding experience.

The passengers will also receive their boarding pass on their smartphones, which will be automatically read and located by the RESA reader.

Air France KLM ground product innovation manager Jean-Christophe Gaudeau said that Air France is committed to constantly searching for new products, innovative solutions and services that can improve the travel experience for its customers.

“Air France’s participation in the testing of NFC technology at boarding illustrates its desire to be a pioneer in the field of innovation for the benefit of our passengers,” Gaudeau said.

SITA chief technology officer Jim Peters said: “This is…..

Read the full story at airport-technology.com…..

 


airport-technology.com
7th July, 2014



[Daily Telegraph] As many as 13 planes flying over Europe vanish from radar screens in an “unprecedented” series of blackouts that lasted 25 minutes with claims air traffic control could have been hacked.

So far experts are at a loss to explain what caused the aircraft to disappear

An air-safety investigation has been launched after 13 planes flying over Europe disappeared from radar screens in two “unprecedented” blackouts, leading to reports stating air traffic control systems had been hacked.

The aircraft went missing from screens across the region in early June, leaving air traffic controllers with no information about their position, direction and height – instead relying on voice communication alone.

Air traffic control centres in Austria, southern Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia all reported the same problem with each period of interference lasting around 25 minutes but varying from flight to flight.

Marcus Pohanka, from Austro Control, described the incidents, which occurred on June 5 and June 10 as “unprecedented,” although the authorities stressed that all the aircraft involved continued with their flights as normal.

Concerns over air safety and radar have been heightened since the disappearance of a Malaysian Airlines flight in March.

Read the full story at The Daily Telegraph…..

 


The Daily Telegraph

13th June, 2014

 


 


[airportcybersecurity.com] ServiceTec is delighted to announce the launch of a new website for its cyber security division, Airport CyberSec. 

AirportCyberSecurity

Airport CyberSec offers airports all over the world a full range of Cyber Security services designed to keep their staff, passengers and data safe.

Airport CyberSec’s cyber security experts work alongside airport IT and security teams to help protect against all aspects of cyber-attack.

Aside from an overview of the services offered by Airport CyberSec, the site will feature expert opinion and insight on the latest developments in the field of cyber security from the team, including Dr. John McCarthy, a world renowned authority on cyber-security strategy, development and Airport CyberSec services include:

Social Engineering Training, to protect against the practice of manipulating people into subverting security procedures or divulging confidential information

CyberIMMUNE, a unique software that mitigates the threat of malware by disabling its ability to write to disk and therefore preventing it from delivering its payload. This unique and powerful tool offers greater protection than any alternative against a zero-day attack – a threat that exploits a previously unknown vulnerability, i.e. one that is so new that the airports IT security team have had no time to address it.

Network & Web-site Security – the integrity of an airport’s network, intranet and website as well as its data security policies will quite obviously have a major influence on that airport’s vulnerability to cyber-attack. Airport CyberSec offers network security audits to test the integrity of an airport’s entire IT infrastructure.

Cyber Security Policies – Airport Cybersec can  offer assistance in the preparation and reviewing of cybersecurity policies based on world-wide best practice.

Monitoring Compliance with CyberSAFE – once best practice cyber-security policies are established staff may know what they should do, however it is also necessary to ensure staff are compliant with the policy on a day to day basis. CyberSAFE assists with both monitoring and enforcement.

 

The website can be found at www.airportcybersecurity.com

 

 


ABOUT SERVICETEC

ServiceTec specialises exclusively in the provision of Managed IT Services to the world’s airport and ,airline industries, and has been doing so since 1989. ServiceTec operates globally, with headquarters in the UK and the USA, and offices in Canada, Germany, The Netherlands and Japan.

Airports served include JFK, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Berlin,

Please visit http://www.servicetec.com


Servicetec Airport Services
Letchworth, UK – 27th March 2014


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[BBC NewsRyanair has announced record profits this week, and the purchase of 175 new Boeing airliners. It’s evidently one of Europe’s most successful airlines at present – but has it even so been blowing its own trumpet a bit too much?

Ryanair prides itself on turning around flights quickly.

Ryanair prides itself on turning around flights quickly. Photo Wikipedia

Ever heard the cheerful jingle on a Ryanair plane as it touches down on the runway?

“Last year over 90% of Ryanair flights landed on time, beating every other European airline.”

Quite a boast. According to the statistics that Ryanair puts out itself, they achieved 90% punctuality last year, and have done for the last few years.

But we only have their word for it. There is scant data available to the public on airline punctuality.

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority does collect data on flights arriving and departing from 10 UK airports. It defines “on time” as being within 15 minutes of its stated arrival time.

A website called flightontime.info crunched that data and worked out that Ryanair fell short of 90%, achieving only 83% at these 10 airports.

Taking the figures for 2012, bmi regional was the most punctual. Eleven other airlines also beat Ryanair’s 83% punctuality record.

Ryanair’s overall punctuality score – taking into account its flights landing at or taking off from other airports around Europe – could easily be higher than 83%, says Jim Paton, senior lecturer in the Department of Air Transport at Cranfield University.

“A big proportion of their network in Europe is operations to small airports that don’t suffer from air traffic congestion, as would be the case around London and Paris,” he says. This makes it easier to avoid delays.

He adds that Ryanair flies to airports where the facilities are relatively close to the runway, so the plane doesn’t spend several minutes taxiing, as it would often have to at airports such as Schiphol in Amsterdam.

The airline says: “Ryanair’s published monthly punctuality is calculated as the percentage of all (approx 42,000 on average) Ryanair flights in any month, at all 180 airports, which land ahead of, on, or within 15 minutes of scheduled arrival time.”

Punctuality statistics published by third parties are unreliable because their data is based on estimates or incomplete samples, which exclude certain airports, flights or airlines, the company adds.

But the Ryanair jingle also says it is “beating every other European airline” on punctuality. Where does this idea come from?

Ryanair says it is comparing its own punctuality figures with “the most recent Association of European Airlines published statistics”.

However, that organisation has not published any new figures since 2009.

In addition, it has only 32 members. Although those members include many big airlines, more than 200 airlines in Europe are not members – including Ryanair.

So there is no public data that proves this claim. And even if there were, it might be hard to take at face value because of a phenomenon known as “schedule padding”.

This is when airlines (or other transport companies) stretch their published journey times in order to…..

Read the rest of this feature at BBC News…..


Charlotte McDonald
BBC News
26th May, 2013



[BBC NewsDiscount airline Ryanair has reported record full-year profits and rising revenues, despite soaring fuel costs.

Profits after tax rose 13% to 569m euros (£481m) on revenues of 4.88bn euros for the year to 31 March.

“Ultra-low cost carrier” Ryanair has big expansion plans and has ordered 175 new planes. Photo: Wikipedia

Passenger traffic grew 5% to 79.3 million as the airline added 217 new routes to its roster, bringing the total to 1,600.

But fuel costs rose by more than 290m euros, the company statement said, and now account for 45% of total costs.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “Delivering a 13% increase in profits and 5% traffic growth despite high oil prices during a European recession is testimony to the strength of Ryanair’s ultra-low cost model.”

But he warned that growth would be slower in the 2013-14 financial year at Europe’s largest budget airline, thanks to rising oil prices and “unjustified higher Eurocontrol and Spanish airport charges”.

The company is forecasting net profits in the range of 570m to 600m euros for the coming year.

In March, Ryanair placed an order with Boeing for 175 planes worth £10.3bn ($15.6bn) to be delivered between 2014 and 2018.

The deal will increase its fleet by a third to 400 planes.

Read the full story at BBC News…..


BBC News
20th May, 2013