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‘No Evidence’ of Cyberattack Related to FAA Outage, White House Says

Airline Flight Monitors

Airline Flight Monitors

There is no sign “at this point” that a cyberattack caused an FAA systems outage that triggered authorities to halt all domestic air travel departures Wednesday, the White House said.

The FAA said that an overnight outage to its Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system that provides safety information to flight crews was the reason, but did not provide any additional details.

Around 7:15 ET, the FAA ordered all airlines to “pause all domestic departures until 9 a.m. Eastern Time to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information.”

“The president has been briefed by the secretary of transportation this morning on the FAA system outage. There is no evidence of a cyberattack at this point, but the President directed DOT to conduct a full investigation into the causes. The FAA will provide regular updates,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted.

Normal air traffic operations resumed gradually across the United States around 8:15 AM ET.

“I really doubt you’ll find some sinister cyber plot at the root of this FAA thing, but if you’re looking for cybersecurity angles I think it’s this: we live in an increasingly complex, interdependent system that is prone to unforeseen consequences and cascading failures,” commented John Hultquist, VP, at Google-owned Mandiant Threat Intelligence, on Twitter.

According to an FAA statement at 8:50AM ET, the ground stop was fully lifted and the agency continues to look into the cause of the initial problem.

RelatedCybersecurity Seen as Rising Risk for Airlines After 9/11

RelatedWorld Economic Forum on Securing the Aviation Industry in Age of Convergence

Written By

For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.

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