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Security Wireless Networking

'Bomb on Board' Wi-Fi Network Causes Turkish Airlines Flight To Be Diverted (reuters.com) 177

A Turkish Airlines flight from Nairobi to Istanbul was diverted after the detection of a wi-fi network called "bomb on board" that alarmed the passengers, the airline said on Thursday. From a report: In a statement, Turkish Airlines said the flight made an emergency landing at the Khartoum airport in Sudan, but the flight was safely resumed after security inspections on all passengers and the aircraft. Individuals can create personal wi-fi networks on devices such as mobile phones and name them what they want.
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'Bomb on Board' Wi-Fi Network Causes Turkish Airlines Flight To Be Diverted

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  • by SensitiveMale ( 155605 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @12:57PM (#55651577)

    First of all "Individuals can create personal wi-fi networks on devices such as mobile phones and name them what they want." Well, no shit.

    Second, they need to start prosecuting these morons that cause flights to be diverted. Idiots starting fights & generally being morons need to start paying for these infractions else it's a badge of honor. "Remember that flight a few years ago that had to land in Colorado? Yeah, that was me. Woooo-hoooooo."

    • Second, they need to start prosecuting these morons that cause flights to be diverted. Idiots starting fights & generally being morons need to start paying for these infractions else it's a badge of honor. "Remember that flight a few years ago that had to land in Colorado? Yeah, that was me. Woooo-hoooooo."

      You want people to be held accountable for their actions? Heretic. :)

    • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @01:13PM (#55651709) Homepage Journal

      The minor action isn't what needs to be stopped, it's the extreme over-reaction that needs to be addressed.

      If I'm driving down the road and forgot to turn off my turn signal, and suddenly I've got road blocks and swat teams and snipers ahead trying to stop my car, we don't say "!ow guess he shouldn't have left his turn signal on, look at that huge commotion he caused, we gotta do something about those turn signals!" Yes the signal was a problem and you might want to do something about it, but it's the extreme over-reaction that really demands some examination, because there's no reasonable justification my turn signal should lead to an evacuation of two city blocks.

      • Yes the signal was a problem and you might want to do something about it, but it's the extreme over-reaction that really demands some examination, because there's no reasonable justification my turn signal should lead to an evacuation of two city blocks.

        Your example doesn't quite match, but you know what? I agree with you 100%.

        In a perfect world.

        In the world we live in, imagine the lawsuits if there was a bomb. Yes, there wasn't. Yes, they over-reacted. But living in the litigious society we are, companies have to take every little thing seriously because if they don't that would be the end of them. Common sense is always beaten out in a court of law.

        • In the world we live in, imagine the lawsuits if there was a bomb. Yes, there wasn't.

          If there had been one, no one would ever know about witty the wifi name.

          • In the world we live in, imagine the lawsuits if there was a bomb. Yes, there wasn't.

            If there had been one, no one would ever know about witty the wifi name.

            If there had been a bomb, you best believe whoever set off the bomb would make sure everyone knew. One doesn't explode a bomb on a plane for anonymity.

      • The minor action isn't what needs to be stopped, it's the extreme over-reaction that needs to be addressed.

        Putting the aircraft down on a possible bomb thread doesn't seem like an extreme over reaction. And the cost of the diversion isn't cheap.

      • by eddeye ( 85134 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @02:09PM (#55652231)

        The minor action isn't what needs to be stopped, it's the extreme over-reaction that needs to be addressed. If I'm driving down the road and forgot to turn off my turn signal, and suddenly I've got road blocks and swat teams and snipers ahead trying to stop my car, we don't say "!ow guess he shouldn't have left his turn signal on, look at that huge commotion he caused, we gotta do something about those turn signals!" Yes the signal was a problem and you might want to do something about it, but it's the extreme over-reaction that really demands some examination, because there's no reasonable justification my turn signal should lead to an evacuation of two city blocks.

        Your turn signal isn't a potential threat to human life. If you can't see the difference then you shouldn't be allowed to fly.

        What's the difference in these scenarios?

        • passenger tells crew "There's a bomb on board"
        • passenger hands crew a note that says "bomb on board"
        • passenger scrawls "bomb on board" in lavatory
        • passenger advertises "bomb on board" wifi network

        95 times out of 100 these are all nothing. But you have to check them out. When human lives are potentially at stake, you can't ignore such statements. Do you want your pilot / cabin crew to make the decision "Well it says there's a bomb, but it's probably just a joke. Let's ignore it."? No. It's their professional obligation to take all possible threats seriously.

        Now there's a 99.99% chance this was some idiot who forgot to change their default network name, or who was trying to be funny. Even so, you can't ignore it. If there's .01% chance the bomb is real - some deranged attention seekers advertise their intentions, hoping to get caught - you have to treat every potential threat as legitimate. Is getting to your destination a few hours later really worth risking hundreds of lives?

        There's a lot of bad security and overreaction in the world. This is not one of those times.

        • Also, it's not impossible someone one of these days could try to signal flight crew without bringing attention to themselves by doing any of the above if they were trying to back out or something like that.

        • by Afty0r ( 263037 )

          95 times out of 100 these are all nothing. But you have to check them out.

          No, no you really don't. *THAT* is the problem. If someone is bombing your plane with an intent to kill everyone, they aren't going to advertise it by changing their wifi SSID. It's totally preposterous. We don't need to overreact to terrorists, fuck them, react appropriately.

          • Although the Bomb On Board SSID was rather tasteless, I could now see passengers starting a tradition of seeing how many of their fellow WiFi using passengers they can get laughing out loud with funny AP names. I would start the game with TSAnalProbe.

          • You do realize the IRA phoned ahead on many of their bombing locations right?

      • This wasn't a turn-signal. This was being overtly threatening. This was the equivalent of driving down the road while holding up a sign that says, "I've got a bomb!" That gets, yes, SWAT teams and snipers, until they've proved that you are in fact not a threat.

      • Thing is, this wasn't a minor thing like forgetting your turn signal. This was a deliberate choice of words that indicates that there is a bomb on board. If you're monitoring the situation, you don't know if it's a joke. You don't know that this wasn't the best way for whoever to communicate this, for whatever reasons. Somebody is saying there's a bomb on board. You need to take this seriously.

    • by pr0t0 ( 216378 )

      diverted after the detection of a wi-fi network called "bomb on board"
      Spotted the dumb-ass teenager.

      Listen up children. As totally unfair as it may seem, we don't always get to say (or print) what we want when we want. Most of the time, people will look at you as the annoying little prick that you are being at that moment. And that's fine I suppose. Who wants the world to be a better place anyway? But one of the areas that you absolutely DO NOT FUCK AROUND is commercial aviation.

      If you feel like pushing a b

    • Yes, this was definitely scary because if a terrorist did put a bomb on board, we all know that the second thing he would do would be to make a wifi network called, "Bomb on Board", alerting everyone to it.

      Whew! Good thing they diverted the plane!

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Actually it wouldn't be the first time a terrorist had altered authorities to their bomb. Maybe they charged their mind at the last moment but didn't want to alert their partner, so passed a note to staff or wrote on the wall in the toilet.

        Other terrorists planned to phone in warnings, not wanting to actually kill anyone. The IRA did that.

      • Yep, terrorists never warn before hand: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    • Second, they need to start prosecuting these morons that cause flights to be diverted.

      What leads you to believe they will not be prosecuting?

      • They would have to identify and locate the culprit first; probably a very tricky task to pull off in this case.

        • If they didn't take steps at the time to investigate, I would say it's impossible now. You need a record of the SSID and what mac address was sending it, and then you need to know if it matches the mac address of a known device on the plane, and then also be willing to accept the possibility that it could be somebody spoofing somebody else's mac address on the flight. It's really no different than leaving a note somewhere that says the same thing, in such a way that it would not be immediately noticed and s
    • First of all "Individuals can create personal wi-fi networks on devices such as mobile phones and name them what they want." Well, no shit.

      Exactly. This is like holding up a sign that says "I've got a bomb!" You can easily do this when there is in fact no bomb, but it's still gonna get a drastic reaction.

    • Second, they need to start prosecuting these morons that cause flights to be diverted

      You mean the pilots, crew, and panicing stupid passengers?

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      First of all "Individuals can create personal wi-fi networks on devices such as mobile phones and name them what they want." Well, no shit.

      Second, they need to start prosecuting these morons that cause flights to be diverted. Idiots starting fights & generally being morons need to start paying for these infractions else it's a badge of honor. "Remember that flight a few years ago that had to land in Colorado? Yeah, that was me. Woooo-hoooooo."

      In many countries its already a crime to do something that you know you shouldn't do that causes a flight to be diverted or return to an airport. The penalty is trifling... but it means you have no defence when the airline takes you to court for their losses. The airlines plan is to ruin you, they do so that you say "remember that flight they diverted to Colorado? That was me, I now cant get a loan, have no car and am renting in a roach motel because I still own half a million dollars to the airline."

      • They should have to re-enter the ticket queue line each time and buy a ticket for each and every passenger they inconvenienced.

    • Nah. Just tell all the other passengers who they were and ask if they still want to get on the plane :-)

  • So did anyone make a note of the MAC address ? Or do you need to be authenticated before you can see the AP's MAC ? Or is there any other way to link the SSID to a static hardware address ? Then again, most chipsets nowadays easily allow spoofing of the MAC addr ..
    • by grub ( 11606 )
      You don't need to authenticate to see the MAC address. Run Kismet and you'll get MACs of all the open and closed access points in your area.
      • Re:MAC Addr ? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 30, 2017 @01:33PM (#55651867)

        No Kismet necessary

        Win32
        netsh wlan show networks mode=bssid

        OSX /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport -s

        Linux
        sudo iwlist scanning

  • YCFS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cellocgw ( 617879 ) <cellocgw@ g m a i l . c om> on Thursday November 30, 2017 @01:01PM (#55651603) Journal

    And I'm talking about everyone who thought the name of a network means doodley-squat.

    What's next, I name my network 'you need to take a dump' and everyone on the plane rushes to the toilets?

    • I used to prank the neighbors by using "methlab" as the SSID. When I moved to Utah I changed it to "pornstudio". (There are too many meth labs around here.)
  • Maybe they were trying to name their network "Baby On Board", and the phone auto-corrected it?

  • It could have been "baby-on-board".

  • Yea, that wasn't a good idea was it.... Stupid is as Stupid does. Who ever did this was an idiot. Even joking about a "bomb" at the security check point will get you an all expense paid trip to the holding room and/or a brief jail stay.

    Why not use something like "Free WiFi" if you insist on letting everybody on board share your service? It's bad enough you are cutting into the revenue stream of the airline by depriving them of the fees the other users of your connection would have paid, then you pile on

  • This is exactly why I always set up an SSID named "No Bomb On Board" when I fly -- so no one will worry about a bomb on board.

    Though now I see an easy way to disrupt global air travel -- hide an ESP8266 on board multiple airplanes that can broadcast a "Bomb On Board" SSD at a particular time on all of the airplanes, and watch global air travel come to a halt while they try to track them done. For bonus points, have them turn on and off randomly to make them harder to find.

  • If I actually was going to put a bomb on board I'd call the access point "TotallyNoBombsHereNoNoNo" or someth1¾,.m,.,

    no carrier

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @02:15PM (#55652285)

    Some of the trains/routes don't have wifi and he turns his hotspot on with "Virgin Trains Free Wifi" as the SSID. Then he tries very hard to suppress his own laughter when people start complaining about how the wifi doesn't work.

  • The US courts have specifically said you can't yell it if a reasonable person would believe you. If you are saying it as a joke and a reasonable person would expect it to be a joke then it is legal. Same with making a joke about a bomb. Fuck you TSA. Unfortunately defending yourself in the USA is now so time consuming and expensive it would be more of a punishment to prove you are innocent than plead guilty.
    • Again, as I understand it, it isn't that you can't yell it. You just can't use it as a defense.

      If I yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater (while holding up my lighter and pointing at it) and everybody laughs and goes on watching the show, I have committed no crime, nothing bad has happened, and there's no problem. If everybody were to calmly stand up and leave the theater such that no one was injured and immediately head to the manager and demand their money back, the theater owner could then sue me for the m

  • That's more or less the equivalent of this incident. Regardless of whether there was malicious intent, or whether the responsible person just has a poor sense of humor/poor sense of judgement, it's not right. At least here in the U.S., so far as I know, there are laws that cover things like this ('Malicious Mischief', maybe?). Don't know about other countries.
  • I was going to name my WiFi as in the subject, but decided I really did not want an all expenses paid vacation to GitMo. So I named it "Free Virus downloads" instead.
  • ... for this passenger: Bus Rider.

  • by rocket rancher ( 447670 ) <themovingfinger@gmail.com> on Thursday November 30, 2017 @05:44PM (#55654151)
    ...got *a lot* of margaritas for me and nothing but laughs from the crew when I showed the perplexed stew delivering all those drinks my SSID. YMMV.

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