August 24, 2010

Malware May Have Caused 2008 Plane Crash

While this isn’t really gaming related, Malware makes a big impact on the modern computer world and this really goes to show how devastating Malware can be. 

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.

The flight of 172 crashed shortly after take off and left only 18 survivors putting the death toll at 154 passengers. 

The infection could of entered the plane in a number of different ways include to a VPN connection, USB drive or an infected file already on the system.  It only takes one file to infect and compromise the system and if their aren’t standards set in place to prevent this type of attack it’s likely to happen again. 

“Any computer that is connected to a network is vulnerable to a malware infection,” O. Sami Saydjari, president of Cyber Defense Agency, told TechNewsDaily. “Standards have not been set to protect critical infrastructure.”

This type of development is going to make me a little more paranoid when I happen to fly on occasion.  In a world that is increasingly dependent if not entirely dependent on computer systems is this type of incident likely to repeat itself?  This type of attack could take terrorism to a whole new level if all the individual has to do is infect the central computer system with a USB drive.

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