London (IANS) A new breed of cyber terrorists has the capability of breaking into a plane's sophisticated on-board computer systems and forcing it to crash, a security document released this week warned. They could also target critical infrastructure such as nuclear power stations and electricity supplies, reports the Daily Mail.
These hackers can be engaged by terror cells and foreign states to cause maximum damage, British Prime Minister David Cameron's long-awaited National Security Strategy report said.
The cyber threat makes it possible for a potential hijacker to carry out his attack without boarding the plane.
Officials confirmed that these computer-generated assaults, which involve individuals creating software viruses or rogue computer programmes and e-mails, could bring down passenger planes. 'We don't want to wait until planes are falling out of the skies before we address the issue,' an official said.
Attacks in cyberspace can have a potentially devastating real-world effect, the document said, adding that military, industrial and economic targets, including critical services, could feasibly be disrupted by a capable adversary.