or Login to see your representatives.

Access Candidates' and Representatives' Biographies, Voting Records, Interest Group Ratings, Issue Positions, Public Statements, and Campaign Finances

Simply enter your zip code above to get to all of your candidates and representatives, or enter a name. Then, just click on the person you are interested in, and you can navigate to the categories of information we track for them.

Public Statements

Letter to Secretary Napolitano - Investigate Remote Hijacking Threats

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Following reports of new software that could be used to remotely hijack an airplane, U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) urged Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to thoroughly review the threat and provide an update on steps being taken to address this security concern.

"I am deeply concerned about recent reports that a German security consultant has found potential vulnerabilities in our airline security system that could allow aircraft to be remotely controlled. Any technology that could be used to attack and exploit airline security software should be thoroughly investigated, and I urge you to take necessary steps to examine the veracity of this threat and address any deficiencies in our security systems that could leave any aircraft open to attack," wrote Senator Lautenberg.

Addressing reports that the Federal Aviation Administration had reviewed the threat, Lautenberg pushed for a more thorough investigation adding, "There is no margin for error when it comes to the lives of passengers traveling in our airspace."

Senator Lautenberg served on The President's Commission on Aviation Security & Terrorism in 1990 following the Pan Am Flight 103 attack. The Commission looked into aviation security failings and issued recommendations to bolster aviation security. Having recently written new laws to further tighten airport security, Lautenberg remains a leader in the Senate on aviation security.

A copy of the letter can be found here, and the text is copied below:

April 13, 2013

Dear Secretary LaHood and Secretary Napolitano:

I am deeply concerned about recent reports that a German security consultant has found potential vulnerabilities in our airline security system that could allow aircraft to be remotely controlled. Any technology that could be used to attack and exploit airline security software should be thoroughly investigated, and I urge you to take necessary steps to examine the veracity of this threat and address any deficiencies in our security systems that could leave any aircraft open to attack.

As you know, this German security consultant recently claimed to have developed technology that could theoretically be used to remotely hijack an airplane. The developer of the technology, which uses a mobile phone application, alleges that current security systems do not have strong enough authentication methods to make sure commands are coming from a legitimate source. I understand that the FAA is aware of this claim and has said that it does not pose a threat on actual commercial flights; however, any technology that could be used to attack and exploit airline security software should be thoroughly investigated. There is no margin for error when it comes to the lives of passengers traveling in our airspace.

Threats of this nature are of particular concern for my state. New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the country, with more than 33 million passengers passing through each year--an average of more than 90,000 passengers every day. Moreover, it is at high risk for terrorist activity; it lies in what security officials have called the most dangerous area in the country for a terrorist attack, and one of the planes hijacked on September 11, 2001 took off from Newark Airport.

To ensure the safety and security of the traveling public, I request that you review the potential threat and provide an update on steps being taken to address this security concern. Thank you for your time and consideration of this important request.

Sincerely,


Source:
Back to top