The future of Air Traffic Control is supposed to utilize an automated system called the Automated Dependent Surveillance Broadcast or ADS-B in short. The system will allow hardware on planes to radio in the aircraft's coordinates to the tower instead of using radar to pick up on each plan. Sounds like a good plan. Except that it's very hackable.
The ADS-B is safeguarded against more traditional digital worries like being shut down or unable to communicate with planes, but it lacks the security systems needed to protect it from any other forms of attack. One of the simplest ways to hack is to by impersonating a plane. All you need is low to medium technical knowledge.
Two separate papers are presented at the Black Hat and Defcon security conference this week to talk about how vulnerable ADS-B is to such attacks. How would and is the system planning to develop failsafes against attacks like this, and what more of a DDoS attack.