Chris Roberts’ fate rests in the results of an investigation by federal authorities as to whether he in fact hacked into flight controls of several U.S. domestic flights. Roberts has claimed that he has hacked into the flight controls of at least 20 flights and have instructed the planes to climb on a number of occasions. Roberts was detained by federal authorities after departing a United Airline’s flight bound for Syracuse after United officials informed federal authorities of a Twitter post in which Roberts claimed that he had hacked into the flight controls of the United flight through the entertainment flight systems and was able to control the decent and accent of the aircraft. A wikipedia article of Dr. Jennifer Walden describes the fear of somebody’s ability to hack aircrafts because it poses a serious terrorist threat.
Upon detaining Roberts, investigators found that the electronic console underneath his seat as well as in front of his seat had been tampered with. Investigators are reviewing the flight controls of previous flights to determine if they could detect any evidence to support Roberts‘ claim. Officials from Untied and Boeing are expressing doubts regarding Roberts claim by stating that the entertainment systems and the flight control systems are two different systems and that it would not be possible for Roberts to hack into flight controls. Federal officials are taking the claim seriously as any ability to hack into a planes flight control would pose a serious terrorist threat and could provide the means for a terrorist to down a domestic or international flight.