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United boots cyber security expert from flight after he noted security flaws

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DENVER -- A cyber security expert from Denver was kicked off a United Airlines flight after suggesting he could tamper with a plane's operating system.

Chris Roberts believes airplanes aren't as secure as they should be. On Twitter he explained how he could use the plane's wifi to disengage a plane's oxygen masks if he wanted.

"I'm sitting here on the airline, on the plane and looking at the infotainment system and I'm acutely aware I can go from here and through several other systems through the plane's vast array of networks and get to the avionics control system," Roberts said.

In recent weeks he told FOX News someone with cyber knowledge could even disengage a plane's engines at 35,000 feet.

After posting a tweet, Roberts was escorted off a United flight in Syracuse, NY where his laptop was confiscated.

"In hindsight the tweet should have been tempered. I have no qualms about that at all," Roberts said.

Jeff Price, an aviation expert and professor, said theoretically it might be possible to alter a plane's system through its wifi.

"Clearly he`s able to do something - enough that TSA took this seriously as a potential threat - to the point where they took him off the plane, Price said.

Roberts is currently at a cyber security conference in San Francisco. He flew Southwest Airlines after United refused to allow him on their flight.

A spokesperson from United said the airline is confident its systems cannot be tampered with.

 

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