Raytheon to Conduct Cyber Assessments of USAF Aircraft Systems

A C-130J from Keesler AFB, Miss., flies over Little Rock AFB, Ark., during a fly-in exercise on March 15, 2019. Air Force photo by SSgt. Dana J. Cable.

LE BOURGET, France—Raytheon and the Air Force are working on a type of “bug bounty” focused on addressing cyber deficiencies, but this time on aircraft.

The company is contracted to conduct cyber vulnerability assessments on several aircraft subsystems and then work to mitigate the issues through resiliency instead of simply aiming to be impervious to attacks, said Dave Wajsgras, Raytheon’s president of Intelligence, Information, and Services.

The company will begin working on the C-130J and F-15 in the fourth quarter of this year.

“The Air Force is taking the threat quite seriously,” Wajsgras said.

The threat assessment process will look at how vulnerable aircraft systems, such as the mission computers, avionics, and navigation, are to attack.

The objective is to strengthen those systems enough so that if one comes under a cyber attack, it doesn’t simply go offline leaving the aircrew without that capability.

“Resiliency says that even if something were to breach, and malware does enter, the system is resilient and can continue to function as intended.”