London: A new breed of cyber terrorists have the capability of breaking into a plane`s sophisticated on-board computer systems and forcing it to crash, a security document released Monday warned.
They could also target critical infrastructure such as nuclear power stations and electricity supplies, reports a newspaper.
These hackers can be engaged by terror cells and foreign states to cause maximum damage, British Prime Minister David Cameron`s long-awaited National Security Strategy report said.
The cyber threat makes it possible for a potential hijacker to carry out his attack without boarding the plane.
Officials confirmed that these computer-generated assaults, which involve individuals creating software viruses or rogue computer programs and emails, could bring down passenger planes.
"We don`t want to wait until planes are falling out of the skies before we address the issue," an official said.
Attacks in cyberspace can have a potentially devastating real-world effect, the document said, adding that military, industrial and economic targets, including critical services, could feasibly be disrupted by a capable adversary.