by Mike Masnick
Mon, Aug 23rd 2010 8:22am
As someone who flies all too frequently, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit spooked by a report that the Spanair flight 5022 crash from two years ago may have been caused -- at least in part -- by malware on a computer that failed to detect three technical problems. Apparently, the computer which monitored those things got some sort of trojan horse, and may have failed to set off the necessary alarms because of this. As for how the computer got infected... it sounds like investigators still are not sure, but someone sticking in an infected USB stick or some other remote network connection seem like the most likely culprit. Of course, the reports seem woefully lacking in details. It's unclear how a trojan would block some software from alerting the crew that there was a problem with the aircraft. Honestly, the report seems to raise a lot more questions than it answers, and if it's actually true, it makes me wonder why we're relying on software that can be disabled via some random malware to watch for life-and-death safety issues on airplanes...
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