Good Luck On Your Flight…

Iridium has been around for a long time as our favorite GPS communications network.  Recently Iridium;’s new NEXT platform made the news when it helped the FAA ground Boeing 737 MAX airplanes.  In reading this article, the insanity started to become apparent.  Aireon is a company that leases space on Iridium and Aireon provides global positioning of all aircraft to aid air traffic controllers when planes are too far from a control tower (which is quite often).  Iridium has also released its own multi-faceted, broadband-of-the-future offerings called Certus

And nothing is secure.

Way back in 2014, a Blackhat-equivalent group showcased how easy it is to hack into satellite communications – literally, anybody can do it.  But that was the OLD Iridium system which is now obsolete and replaced by the Iridium NEXT system – so that is secure…

Right???

Not so much.

First, there is nothing ANYWHERE discussing security and, second, Iridium is attempting to be the broadband provider for everything from boats to government agencies to the IoT…

The IoT part is critical here as most IoT sensors cannot really handle too much in terms of encryption and nothing mentions Iridium rolling out a global PKI system…

THEN there is the part where Iridium says that it is making one-off secure applications for the government.  ONE OFF?  Seriously?!?

So a few governments can talk securely but everybody else what?  Hoping for the best?

We get it – mobile broadband has always been about connectivity and not security.  But the new wave of 5G efforts are focused on security, everybody realizes that application developers cannot be relied upon for protection and most people are realizing that the broadband providers have to start providing ubiquitous secure services…

Otherwise, we will have a global air traffic control system that is hackable by…well…everybody…