There have been some wild theories about the complete disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. That sort of thing happens when a plane filled with 239 people vanishes and over five years later no one has any idea why it happened.
That being said, another interesting theory about the disappearance of Flight MH370 has been added to the ever-growing list of conjecture.
According to a recent documentary which aired on Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, Flight MH370, hijackers could have used the in-flight entertainment system to carry out a cyber-attack on the plane by accessing its network via the system using a cell phone or USB connection, reports the Daily Express.
Risk management consultant Dr. Sally Leivesley suggested that the hypothetical hijacker could then have compromised the plane’s network with “malware” that creates phantom cockpit controls, tricking the pilots into thinking they were flying the right way, but actually taking them way off course.
She said: “The core of this theory was that the plane was being managed by machines, not people. You can have chips in the avionics that run the cockpit and those chips can have malware. The controls look right, but underneath there is another system actually running the plane.”
In this way, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid may not have realised anything was wrong until it was too late.
Shah is the one who, according to one far-fetched theory, crashed the plane on purpose after killing or knocking out everyone on board then parachuting out to meet his mistress waiting in a boat in the ocean below.
Leivesley also suggested, based on the fact that documentation about who had access to Flight MH370 prior to take-off is missing, a cyber attacker could have boarded the plane unnoticed.
“We need to know who had access to the plane,” she said. “Was there an opportunity for someone to get on with a USB stick – or in other ways – to initiate a cyber-attack on the plane so it would never reach its destination?”
Aviation security expert Jim Termini also believes Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was probably hijacked, but he thinks it was more likely a crew member, a passenger, a stowaway, or an electronic takeover from a ground-based station that was behind the disappearance.
“A cyber-attack would be a highly sophisticated attack which, at the moment, would seem the most unlikely, but that’s only because we haven’t seen it before,” he told Channel 5. “The day before 9/11 we would never have imagined that an aircraft would have been used, effectively, as a cruise missile to attack New York and Washington – but, of course, that happened.”
Aviation expert and science journalist Jeff Wise says to not rule out a cyber-attack, however, as malware could have transmitted false data claiming Flight MH370 was traveling over the Indian Ocean, but in reality could have flown north and ended up in a place such as Kazakhstan.
Concrete answers, however, have still yet to be found.