Flight-tracking website hit by new cyber-attack

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Flight-tracking website hit by new cyber-attack

September 29, 2020 | website | No Comments



a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky


© PA Media


Popular real-time flight-tracking website Flightradar24 was hit by a cyber-attack that knocked out access to its services for hours.

The attack is the third the company has suffered in two days, it said.

Early attempts to restore the site failed, with “significant instability due to the sustained attacks”, it said.

It did not say exactly what kind of attack it had experienced, but said it hit “the availability of our services” but not user data.

The site appeared to be improving on Tuesday, with intermittent loading errors.

The website allows users to track planes – both commercial passenger flights and private ones – in mid-air, following flight paths live.

https://twitter.com/flightradar24/status/1310661019405086720

Flightradar24 says it has about two million users and tracks 180,000 flights every day. It includes aircraft manufacturers – such as Airbus and Boeing – among its customers.

Its tools can identify a plane’s model, flight number, and distress signal codes, among an array of other advanced features, some of which are locked behind a subscription payment.

Such tools make the website, and its competitors, a valuable tool for plane-watchers and for journalists covering accidents and other airline incidents.

That has led to some trouble for pilots, caught in the act of spelling out words, drawing phallic images, or – in a less controversial example, illustrating a giant Christmas tree with their flight paths.

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