Missing Malaysian plane a criminal act?

(CNN) – Malaysia Airlines has stepped up security on all of its aircraft following the disappearance of flight 370.

Airline officials are not saying exactly what security measures are now being taken.

These pictures appear to show flight 370′s co-pilot, Fariq Hamid, with two women in the cockpit of a Malaysian Airlines plane during a flight three years ago. One of the women says Hamid invited her and a friend inside. The airline says it was shocked by the photo, but now with sources saying investigators are treating flight 370′s turns off-course as a “criminal act” industry experts are asking if cockpits are really secure.

“This should be for every single airline around the world a wake up call that says: let’s review our procedures.” Mark Weiss told CNN.

After hijackers breached the cockpits of four planes on 9-11 rules were severely tightened, and cockpit doors re-enforced. Aviation security experts say even in a post 9-11 world, current regulations aren’t always strictly followed by every airline in every country.

“Human nature seems to take over. There seems to be some degradation of procedures whether pilots are giving briefings to their crews, or cockpit doors staying open longer than necessary.” said the former airline pilot and CNN Aviation Analyst.

The Transportation Security Administration requires all airlines entering or leaving the United States to keep cockpit doors locked, and two people including a pilot must be in the cockpit at all times.

If a pilot has to leave, a crew member replaces him and the door is blocked during the switch. No one can re-enter without someone inside confirming his or her identity.

Still, experts say there are inevitable vulnerabilities such as the bathroom being outside of the cockpit.

“The cockpit door when it’s open is very much like a moat that’s used to protect the castle. But if the moat is down, what good is it?”

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