Airplane Terror Plot Raises Questions Over In-Flight Wi-Fi, Mobile Phone Access

Last week’s airplane terror incident has raised new concerns over how much sense it makes to have Wi-Fi and the ability to use mobile phones on aircraft. While the companies that provides these entertainment options have said there’s nothing to worry about (well, besides them worrying about losing money), other security experts argue otherwise.

You’ll recall that authorities last week found packages containing explosives, explosives that were connected mobile phones. The fear is, terrorists could have activated the explosives by calling the phone, thus taking the airplane down.

So, what might happen if you give the bad guys the option to not only make mobile calls, but also give them the ability to use voice-over-IP calls? Now they won’t have to rely on a flimsy phone signal, but can instead tap into the airplane’s own on-board Wi-Fi to hatch their plots.

Those are the concerns of at least one consultant in the UK, one Roland Alfort of Alford Technologies.

The question now is whether or not transportation authorities will take these concerns to heart when going over what went wrong.

Then again, this could all just be a work under the guise of making us safe. A work from Alford Technologies’ perspective, that is. “Let’s scare people into think our Hollywood scenarios are plausible, the lend ourselves a fat consulting contracting with a government agency.”

Or, more innocently, it could be much ado about nothing. Misplaced fear, in other words. One manufacturer of in-flight entertainment says:

There are many ways of coordinating an attack without using a mobile phoneThe position of our security experts is that the use of mobile phones on planes does not constitute any additional security threat.

Meanwhile, airlines themselves are hoping that there’s not a giant overreaction to the incident. If nothing else, the event showed how current security measures do work.

The explosives were found, after all, and didn’t go off. Surely that counts for something when examining the calculus here?