Plane Finder Mobile App Can Be a Security Threat

According to news published in London, a mobile phone application. “Plane finder” is found to be a security threat. This mobile application is costing less than 2 pounds. Using this application, one can exactly track the air crafts in flight. This spurred fears among so many people, that it could bring them terror aims. This was quoted by a security expert. This application of the ‘plane finder AR’, for Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone permits the users to direct their phone to the sky and find the height, position and sped of the nearby airplane, as quoted by an expert in the Daily Mail. It also displays the flight number, airline service, departure point, terminus and even the probable course.

The Daily Mail said that, a British firm developed this program and it was sold in the online Apple Store for 1.79 pounds only. This app was labeled by the security expert as an “aid to terrorist” amidst fears that it could be used to aim an aircraft from the ground with a surface- to- air missile. The so called Automatic Dependent Surveillance- broadcasts (ADS-B) will be intercepted by this new application, ‘the plane finder’, which is transmitted by many of the passenger aircrafts to a satellite tracking system which supplements or replaces radar in some countries. Though European and British air traffic regularization systems, still have not adopted this technology. It is being installed in all new aircrafts at present, which right away invariably broadcast their positions.

A senior Federal Aviation Administrative officer notified the danger that ADS- B technology may be used by terrorists. These fears are raised especially after the 9/11 attack in 2001, in the United States. This Federal Aviation Administration is a bureau of US department of Transportation, which has an authority to oversee and regulate all prospects of US civil aviation. Pinkfroot is the firm which developed this application, employs a network of aircraft zealots in abroad and Britain, who are equipped with receivers of ADS- B. These receivers costs about 200 pounds and these enthusiasts intercept the info from the aircraft and send the information to a central database. This ADS- B technology can be used for reporting the 3D position of the aircraft, in the clear on 1090 MHz, two times per second.

Pinkfroot has gone a leap further, marketing a supposed an “Augmented Reality” application, as the users can direct a mobile phone’s camera towards the sky and view the exact position of the aero plane superimposed on the skyline. Pinkfroot Company is based in South Sea, Hampshire.

One of the directors of Pinkfroot, Lee Armstrong, said that the concept of terrorist using this ADS- B technology has crossed their minds and admitted that the company had tried and took all possible measures to minimize the risk. He also added that if someone wants to use this technology for destruction, they would buy their own radar or ADS- B.

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