Plane cockpits designed to be ultra secure
US hacker accused of altering a plane flight path and accessing around 20 in-flight entertainment systems.Getty Images

A US-based hacker allegedly hacked into several flights' computer systems and even altered the path of one of the flights, according to documents filed by FBI.

The hacker, a US security researcher identified as Chris Roberts, had over the last four years engaged in several unauthorized hacks, including accessing over 20 in-flight entertainment systems.

In a FBI investigation conducted earlier this year, Roberts admitted, "that he successfully commanded the system he had accessed to issue the 'CLB' or climb command.

"He stated that he thereby caused one of the airplane engines to climb resulting in a lateral or sideways movement of the plane during one of these flights."

According to the documented investigations, Roberts allegedly altered the plane's path via access to the in-flight entertainment system, a laptop and an Ethernet cable.

While an airline spokesman told CBS News, "we are confident our flight control systems could not be accessed through techniques he described," FBI thinks otherwise.

"Modern aircraft are increasingly connected to the Internet. This interconnectedness can potentially provide unauthorized remote access to aircraft avionics systems," according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.

"According to cyber security experts we interviewed, Internet connectivity in the cabin should be considered a direct link between the aircraft and the outside world, which includes potential malicious actors."

The report highlights how modernizing planes with Internet-based technology opens the door for exploitation.

Meanwhile, Roberts has denied all charges.