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Malware Implicated in Fatal Spanair Plane Crash

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Spanair flight 5022 wreckage

A tower crane moves the wreckage of Spanair flight 5022 that crashed in July 2008 on take-off from Barajas Airport, Madrid, Spain.

Credit: European Pressphoto Agency

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.

Flight 5022 crashed just after takeoff from Madrid-Barajas International Airport on July 20, 2008, killing 154 and leaving only 18 survivors.

The malware on the Spanair computer has been identified as a type of Trojan horse. "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."

An incident like this could happen again, and most likely will, according to Saydjari.

From TechNewsDaily
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