Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Sometimes computer viruses/malware aren't just annoying, or destructive--they're deadly

Malware Implicated in Fatal Spanair Plane Crash
Authorities investigating the 2008 crash of Spanair flight 5022 have discovered a central computer system used to monitor technical problems in the aircraft was infected with malware.

An internal report issued by the airline revealed the infected computer failed to detect three technical problems with the aircraft, which if detected, may have prevented the plane from taking off, according to reports in the Spanish newspaper, El Pais.

Flight 5022 crashed just after takeoff from Madrid-Barajas International Airport two years ago today, killing 154 and leaving only 18 survivors.
Someone wrote the code that killed 154 people. To be honest, it's unlikely that the person will ever be tracked, but the simple fact of the matter is that he/she is a murderer.

But it's pretty scary how the computers that monitor planes can be infected so easily. Makes you wonder what other systems could fail because of malware--medical equipment, for example, or virtually any sort of thing that relies on a computer. Even cars, maybe, if the diagnostic systems that hook into them were infected. If they have any sort of input or connectivity means, they're vulnerable. We are so dependent upon technology these days.

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