NEW DELHI – While India is busy in staging ‘surgical strike’ drama, Pakistani tech experts are up to some real job by teasing the pilots of Indian planes landing into the airports close to the Line of Control (LoC) in Occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan hackers have been breaching networking protocols of Indian airports for some time now, reported Times of India. The tech pirates block communication between the pilots and the control tower just before landing and start playing Pakistan’s patriotic songs like “Dil Dil Pakistan” in the cockpit.
A senior pilot, who regularly takes flights to Jammu and Thoise Air Force base, was mentioned by the newspaper as saying that Pakistan hackers have been doing so by matching the frequency of the communication between the plane and the control tower.
The report further added that Indian pilots have now adopted an alternate communication process to avoid getting hacked by Pakistanis.
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“We revert to the Northern Control in Udhampur. The Northern Control calls up the Jammu ATC on landline and gets alternate frequency from them. It then tells pilots to speak to Jammu on that frequency,” the unnamed pilot was mentioned as saying.
“In such a situation, we revert to the Northern Control in Udhampur. This IAF-run ATC coordinates with aircraft when they are over 10,000 feet high and on descending below that level, we switch over to the Jammu tower,” said a senior pilot who flies to high altitude airports. The Northern Control calls up the Jammu ATC on landline and gets alternate frequency from them. It then tells pilots to speak to Jammu on that frequency,” the pilot revealed.
The pilot said that as hackers are unable to hack into the alternate frequency quickly, pilots get time to land into Jammu or Thoise by being in touch with the ATC.
“We use VHF, which is line of sight communication and is known as ‘if you can see us, you can talk to us.’ Due to this, hackers frequently jam our frequency with ATC and start playing their music. This is a big irritant as we are in final stage of landing,” said another pilot. Due to this reason, the Jammu ATC frequency is changed very frequently to minimize cross-LoC hacking.