The FAA has announced a domestic ground stop on all Delta flights–
GROUND STOP DAL AND SUB CARRIERS TO DOMESTIC DESTINATIONS.
INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT ARE EXEMPT. THIS IS DUE TO AUTOMATION ISSUES WITH DAL. UPDATE AT 0030Z.
Many are reporting that ALL Delta flights are grounded.
Delta’s mobile app and website are also down. If I pull up delta.com I can reach the website, but the flight search tool is not visible–
What Really Happened?
In a recent post entitled The Travel Infrastructure Problem in the USA I mentioned that so many of the vital transportation systems — both public and private — are not beyond the reach of hackers. Delta, like American and United, have deferred new and advanced flight operation systems in favor of the “tried and trued”. The old adage, “Leave well enough alone” is applied, especially when system upgrades cost millions of dollars.
But does outmoded technology — like the DHS outage last month — just shut down? There, the DHS blamed the problem on a faulty software update. Perhaps the same will be true of Delta’s outage this afternoon.
Yet hacking is the first thing that crossed my mind. I marvel at what an effective tool of war and diplomacy hacking has the capacity (and has already proven) to be. Imagine an era in which electrical grids, water systems, traffic signals, or airlines are routinely shut down in a cyber tit-for-tat. Economic damage of today’s event? Millions of dollars if the expected ripple effects causes tens of thousands of missed connections and missed meetings over the next 24 hours.
And this “war” can be raged all from the comfort of an armchair 7,000 miles away.
This issues fascinates me and I guarantee you that if not this Delta incident today, we will one day witness an airline shut down as an act of cyber warfare. What a wonderful world…
While hacking may or may not be to blame, Gary gets it rights in stating that instead of investing in fighting Gulf carriers and devaluing Skymiles, Delta should invest in creating more secure and dependable systems.