The Boeing 747 are still using 3.5 diskettes to load data

The almost extinct floppy disks of 3.5 inches are still used in the Boeing 747-400 to load databases critical to air navigation.

As well as revealed the company’s penetration testing computer Pen Test Partners (PTP) during the fair of cybersecurity Def, congress 2020 was carried out in a virtual way by the COVID-19.

During a live interview, Alex Lomas from PTP showed a video that runs through the interior of a 747-400 in disuse, that belonged to an airline in the Uk.

While inspecting the aircraft, the expert indicated the place where it loaded the databases of navigation.

“These databases are that you must perform during the inspections,” he said, showing the floppy drive, which in normal operations is hidden behind a locked panel.

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According to The Register, there is a long list of obsolete technologies that remain in use because they are integrated into large teams and work well. An example of this is the ship inspection HMS Enterprise of the Royal Navy. The ship uses a mix of software that is based on Windows ME.

Of potential interest to researchers who do not have access to a 747 replacement is the new Microsoft Flight Simulator.

The latest version of the simulation franchise will go on sale in August 2020 and will support the use of navigation data compatible with ARINC 429, the same type of data that is loaded into the 747 with a floppy disk of 3.5 inches.

In a question and answer session, subsequent to the dispatch on the Boeing, it left a space for attendees.

One of the questions most repeated was if you could hack into a plane of passengers from the seats of economic, using the in-flight entertainment (IFE) as a vector of attack.

Lomas said: “we have sought deliberately, and we have not found any two-way communication between the systems that they can control the passengers, as the IFE, and the remote control”.

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