In a weird turn of events, United Airlines banned computer security researcher, Chris Roberts from a flight he was supposed to get on so he could speak at a major conference in San Fransisco.
Computer Security Expert Banned From United Flight
Chris Roberts was entry onto a United Airlines flight from Colorado to San Fransisco after he tweeted that he could hack the plane's security system.
Earlier on, He had tweeted that he could deploy the oxygen masks on board the plane:
"Find myself on a 737/800, lets see Box-IFE-ICE-SATCOM, ? Shall we start playing with EICAS messages? "PASS OXYGEN ON" Anyone ? :)" read the tweet.
Responding to the ban, United Airlines said that although they didn't think Roberts could have accessed the planes' flight control systems, they still had to ban him since the tweet was potentially dangerous both to the company and the passengers aboard the flight.
"Given Mr Roberts's claims regarding manipulating aircraft systems, we've decided it's in the best interest of our customers and crew members that he not be allowed to fly United.
"However, we are confident our flight control systems could not be accessed through techniques he described." company spokesman, Rahsaan Johnson said.
Chris Roberts is the Founder of Cybersecurity firm, OneWorld Labs, an outfit that specializes in finding vulnerabilities in IT systems and alert companies to such vulnerabilities before they are used by criminal elements.
Just last wednesday, Roberts was also removed from another United flight by the FBI, who took his laptop away, and questioned him for hours.
Reacting to yesterdays' incident, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) which represents Mr Roberts said:
"It is disappointing that United refused to allow him to board, and we hope that United learns that computer security researchers are a vital ally, not a threat."
EFF Lawyer Nate Cardozo said he hadn't seen a copy of the warrant used to confiscate Roberts' possessions from the earlier FBI incident but was working on getting the security experts' belongings back to him.
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