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We reported last month that security researcher Chris Roberts was detained by the authorities and subsequently banned by United Airlines after tweeting about being able to hack the plane, a tweet which he thought was supposed to be funny. He suggested in his tweet that he could hack the plane to drop the oxygen masks by simply plugging into the inflight entertainment box under his seat. The FBI claims that his actions were actually more sinister, that he commandeered the plane’s controls.

FBI agent Mark Hurley details an interview with Roberts on April 15th after he was detailed at Syracuse airport, claiming that Roberts had “exploited/gained access to, or ‘hacked’ the [in-flight entertainment] system. He stated that he then overwrote code on the airplane’s Thrust Management Computer while aboard a flight. He stated that he successfully commanded the system he had accessed to issue the climb command.”

It’s also claimed that Roberts said he caused one of the plane’s engines to climb which resulted in a lateral or sideways movement of the airplane, and apparently he also agreed to using software to monitor traffic from the cockpit system.

While admitting to Wired that he has hacked in-flight networks as many as 15 times for the purpose of observation, he denies these specific allegations made by the FBI. So far the authorities have not yet charged Roberts with a crime.

Filed in Transportation. Read more about . Source: cnet