Boeing Has Recently Been Hacked

David Pflieger sheds some light on the recent Boeing hack.

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The popular airline manufacturer Boeing has recently been hacked with malware that took out some of its automated manufacturing tools. The infected units are said to have been exclusive to plants in North Charleston, South Carolina. The tools were used as part of an assembly line that produces both a 787 Dreamliner model as well as a wing manufacturing assembly line. Here is a basic overview of the situation.

What Is Malware?

Malware is, in essence, malicious software. The sole function of malware is to infect a program and cause harm. Malware has no beneficial purposes and is designed by those who have a variety of ill intents. This can include but is not limited to:

  • Infecting Computers With Viruses
  • Installing Spyware
  • Installing Ransomware
  • Worms

All of these malware types can potentially damage a computer beyond repair. The motives of malware creators vary but usually involve seeking money in return for removing the malware.

What Is Being Done To Stop Future Attacks?

Boeing has stated that their cyber security team is ever vigilant about the possibility of cyber attacks. The team was able to quickly spot the intrusion and disable it before it was allowed to infect other areas of the business. Thousands of other expanding businesses are also beefing up their cyber security divisions to better protect all types of sensitive information.

Are These Hacks Becoming More Common?

Unfortunately, as technology improves, so does the technology at the disposal of cyber criminals. The number of malware attacks each year is on the rise. In fact, over 9 billion recorded malware attacks occurred on businesses and private citizens in 2017 alone. As these types of attacks continue, the defense against them will have to improve as well.

Businesses all over the world are facing hacking attempts each and every day. These companies will have to be more diligent about either hiring employees or outsourcing other businesses to better protect their own information as well as the sensitive information of consumers.

Three Women That Changed Aviation Forever

David Pflieger highlights several female aviators throughout history.

Women have been flying since 1908, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that they were able to have the same cockpit access as their male counterparts. These three women made particularly significant contributions to the world of aviation and space exploration.

Amelia Earhart

Perhaps the most well-known female pilot in history, Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. On August 25, 1932, she also became the first woman to fly nonstop across the United States, with a flight that took her from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey.

In addition to her aviation success, Earhart was a clothing designer, vice president of the National Aeronautic Association, and a visiting professor at Purdue University. In 1937, Earhart attempted to fly across the world, but it is believed that her plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Her remains have never been found, and her disappearance remains a great mystery.

Harriet Quimby

Although her aviation career was short, Harriet Quimby paved the way for female pilots by becoming the first woman to earn a pilot’s license. After receiving her Federation Aeronautique Internationale certificate in August 1911, she joined an exhibition team called the Moisant International Aviators. Shortly after, she became the first woman to fly across Mexico City.

In April 1912, she became the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel. Upon returning to the United States, Quimby performed at the Harvard-Boston Aviation Meet on July 1, 1912. During her flight, Quimby and her co-pilot, William Willard, fell to their deaths in Dorchester Harbor after their plane flipped over, ejecting both of them.

Bessie Coleman

The first African American to receive a pilot’s license, Bessie Coleman was determined to succeed in the aviation world, despite her race and gender. After attempting to earn her license in the United States, Coleman went to France where she earned her license from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale on June 15, 1921.

After earning her license, Coleman began performing throughout the United States, including Chicago and southern states. Her ultimate goal of opening a flying school for African Americans was nearly realized, but a crash during a test flight at the May Day celebration in Jacksonville, Florida on April 30, 1926 ended her life.

Best Aircraft of WWII

David Pflieger highlights some of the most versatile and important aircraft of WWII.

Because of the central role of aircraft in World War 2, both the Allies and the Axis invested considerable resources into the development of the most advanced fighters and bombers of the day. The wide variety of combat environments and the unusual feats many of these aircraft were called upon to achieve turned the years between 1935 and 1950 into a golden age in aviation development.

Ultimately, the technology, materials and scientific advancements that took place during and immediately after the war led to successful space programs for both the Soviets and the Americans. They also made possible the tremendous aviation technology we know today. Here are three of World War 2’s most famous aircraft.

The Mitchell B-25 Bomber 

One of the most versatile aircraft ever launched, the B-25 bomber changed the way the armed forces thought about aircraft. Because of its range and carrying capacity, the Mitchell bomber was uniquely well-suited to the kind of combat between Allied and Japanese forces in the Pacific. Later models of this twin-prop bomber were adapted for use as gunships in anti-shipping roles. The B-25 is widely regarded as one of the most durable aircraft of the war.

The Mitsubishi A6M “Zero”

Very likely one of the most famous aircraft of World War 2, the Japanese fighter started the war with no equal in either the Pacific or Europe. Hailed as one of the fastest fighters in the air and one of the most maneuverable. A Zero could turn inside nearly any allied fighter due to its incredibly low stalling speed. Its firepower was also a tremendous problem for Allied forces in the Pacific. Had Japan the manufacturing capacity, there are some who believe the Zero could have changed the outcome of the war.

P-51 Mustang 

Most would agree the P-51’s major contribution to the air war over Europe was its incredible speed. As one of the fastest prop-driven fighters ever launched, the Mustang attached a 14-foot propeller to one of the most advanced engines in the world and produced an aircraft that could cruise at more than 360 MPH. Even though it was fast, the Mustang also had amazing endurance, and made not only strategic fighter escorts possible, but also introduced the concept of air supremacy to the war in Europe.

World War 2 will forever be known as one of the first wars fought almost entirely with technological advances rather than just weapons. The aircraft of the era were the first to take advantage of this reality and usher the military and the world into a new era.

The Design Feature and Marketing That Made the Wright Brothers the Inventors of the Airplane

David Pflieger explains how Wilbur and Orville Wright set themselves apart from their competition and became pioneers of aviation.

We’ve all heard of the Wright brothers, but do you know exactly how they impacted the field of aviation and why they were different from their predecessors? Wilbur and Orville Wright were actually not even the first people to create a machine that flew in the air, but they are nonetheless credited with the invention more than anyone else, and they were definitely the most successful at it.

According to History, 1903 was the year that Wilbur flew the plane that the brothers had designed. He flew it for only 59 seconds, but he was able to safely land it. This was actually a huge step in aviation. Several other inventors had already been able to get a plane off of the ground, but the problem was that there was no control, and the aircraft often crashed. By observing how birds modulated their wings, they learned that this was the key to creating a flyer that the person flying it would be able to control. And this is also part of the reason why they are credited with creating the first successful airplane.

But having a machine that could both fly with control and land without crashing was only part of the success of the Wright brothers. It’s also only part of the reason that we have so long credited them with the invention of the airplane. When they first made claims in America that they had a machine that would fly, most people didn’t believe them. So Wilbur decided to take their invention over to Europe. The story was exactly the opposite there. In Europe, Wilbur found many people who were interested in their flying machine. By 1909, Orville had joined Wilbur, and they were giving rides to political figures and journalists. The interest grew, and soon after, Orville and Wilbur were setting up contracts both in Europe and the United States. After a few years, they were wealthy businessmen.

So although several other people were able to make machines that flew, the Wright brothers were the first ones to not only make one that could both fly and land without crashing, but they were also the first people to be able to market their invention to an interested public. On top of that, more than 100 years later, airplane designs still feature the modulated wing design that set their machine apart from the others that failed.