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Was a Major Air Traffic Control Center Near Washington Just Hacked?

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Just yesterday, The New York Times reported that a “technical problem” in an air traffic control center in Leesburg, Virginia near Washington was responsible for 462 flight delays and 476 cancellations at airports all over the East Coast this weekend.

The Air Route Traffic Control Center is one of 22 in the country. According to Wikipedia, this particular center covers the Washington/Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia metropolitan areas just to name a few. It handles some five million flights a year and is the third busiest air traffic control center in the U.S.

Throughout the story, NYT continually refers to the “problem.” Other outlets covering the story called it a “malfunction” or a “glitch.” The FAA’s official Facebook page referred to it as an “automation problem” to be more specific.

At the time of writing this, they are still “continuing to diagnose the cause” of the “problem.”

So… is it another hack?

It’s not like anyone official would tell us anyway, but it follows that it might be considering lots of these weird “glitches” and “technical problems” keep happening on a mass scale lately.

Last month, on the exact same day, the New York Stock Exchange, United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal all experienced “technical glitches” too. What a coincidence.

You know, it’s not as if they’d announce a cyberwar on the nightly mainstream news or anything. (On a side note, there still hasn’t been any official word — just conjecture — on why that plant in China recently blew up either…)

When the NYSE, the WSJ, and United Airlines were all coincidentally hit with “technical glitches” on the same day last month, authorities did make sure to reassure us that it definitely wasn’t hackers.

We’ll probably hear the same thing this time, too.


The Washington Standard

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