Former Hacker Highlights Australian Vulnerabilities in Airport IT Systems

Protecting IT Infrastructure | Security Systems ProvidersFormer hacker, now an IT consultant, Mr Phil Kernick, has highlighted weaknesses in the Australian airports systems that could be exploited by hackers.

Mr Kernick says that the focus of authorities has been placed too much on the physical than on IT infrastructure, which should be better protected from what he believes are ‘daily attacks’.

Protection of IT infrastructure is critical for airlines, who process flight plans, passenger data and hundreds of thousands of mission critical transmissions every day. According to Mr Kernick, it is a simple process to place a 4G hacking device into an airport power system. He notes that airport personnel carry access cards once within the secure environment past screening areas, but that this can lead to a relaxation of security if all personnel make the assumption that restricted areas are secure.

To make his point clear, Mr Kernick said, “The more you think you do physical security well, the easier the job is [for intruders], because you believe your security works. This is how they get into bank data centres. It is surprisingly easy.”

Cyber security is an increasing issue within airports across the world. With daily threats of attacks, whether to physical security or infrastructure, security providers are under growing pressure to maintain solutions to combat these threats.

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