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CNET Update: Hack an airplane? Researchers reveal new security concerns

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CNET Update: Hack an airplane? Researchers reveal new security concerns

2:53 /

Upcoming hacking conferences shine a light on the state of cybersecurity. Researchers will present hacking risks with USB drives and fitness trackers, and aircraft systems via in-flight Wi-Fi.

It is time to learn about all the new ways we can get hacked. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your C Net update. [MUSIC] It seems we have to worry about a new hacking threat every week, but for the next few days, you will hear about more security scares. And that is because of 2 big hacking conferences that are taking place in Las Vegas. There is Black Hat and Def Con, which will shine some light on the state of our cyber security. One presentation will give you good reason to never use an unknown USB stick. Researchers ar SR labs will explain how USB flash drives. Can be reprogrammed so a computer sees it as something else, like a keyboard. The USB drive can even write commands as if it was someone typing at a keyboard, and essentially hijack the machine. A bad USB can also pose as a network card, and redirect your internet connection to a malicious site. But what is worrisome is that your antivirus software won't detect this. Using a USB drive to infect a computer may not seem that surprising, but the researchers argue that USB sticks are so common place that it's more of a threat because we don't think twice about the risk when we pop in a drive. Researchers say once a computer has been infected by a bad USB, it's very hard to fix. So, think twice before you use any flash drive you find just lying around. Fitness trackers are also under the security microscope. Semantic published a paper on how we need to better protect all the personal data's that being collected from fitness trackers. Like the fit bit and javone up, fitness wristbands and connected apps are keeping track of our names, our birthdays, addresses. As well as our weight, our heart rate, and what time we sleep and our location. That means it can show where you live, where you run, and for how long, and when you're typically sleeping. Hows that for creepy. Symantec found that it's possible to hack location data from these devices with a Bluetooth connection, and the research showed 20% of apps tested had no encryption when transmitting password data. That makes it easier to crack, especially with an easy password. This week we'll also hear about something more troubling, hacking a commercial airplane satellite communication through the inflight WiFi entertainment system. One security researcher will be presenting his work on how it's possible to use a plane's WiFi or inflight entertainment system to access avionics equipment. Now this was tested in a lab so it's unclear if a passenger could actually hack into the cockpit with wi-fi. But it will show manufacturers what potential issues need to be patched. That's your tech new updates. Head to cnet.com later this week for more cyber security coverage from the conferences. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.

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