BLACK HAT USA – Las Vegas – Ruben Santamarta was flying from Madrid to Copenhagen in November 2017 on a Norwegian Airlines flight when he decided to inspect the plane’s Wi-Fi network security. So he launched Wireshark from his laptop and began monitoring the network.
Santamarta noted “some weird things” happening. First off, his internal IP address was assigned a public, routable IP address, and then, more disconcerting, he suddenly noticed random network scans on his computer. It turned out the plane’s satellite modem data unit, or MDU, was exposed and rigged with the Swordfish backdoor, and a router from a Gafgyt IoT botnet was reaching out to the satcom modem on the in-flight airplane, scanning for new bot recruits.