Home > Bugs & Viruses > Malware Implicated in Fatal Spanair Plane Crash Malware Implicated in Fatal Spanair Plane Crash David Adams 2010-08-23 Bugs & Viruses 11 Comments 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. About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 11 Comments 2010-08-23 5:30 pm bannor99 There wasn’t enough info to tell if this was Windows malware that’s to blame but I’m shocked that they don’t have security in place – what century do they think we’re in? 2010-08-23 6:18 pm diegocg They don’t fly with windows. The company uses a central computer to log the repairs they do in all the planes. The computer had virus, so the mechanics couldn’t log in the computer and log the repair operation. Had they been able to do that, the program would have warned them that the plane haved had 2 similar problems in the last few weeks, and probably they would have aborted the takeoff. 2010-08-25 2:52 am eantoranz Well… so the computer was not on the plane… but still a critical event _happened_ involving malware… shall I say _windows_ malware which could have been prevented hadn’t there been any Windows (therefore malware) involved? Come on! Is it worth it having Antivirus, forbidding usage of USB drives and all the other caveats involved in keeping Windows safe? I don’t give a damn if people want to stick with that hell, but we’re talking about an enterprise here…. unfortunately lives were lost due to this dependency on windows (one way or another). 2010-08-23 7:34 pm Jedd It’s too bad that the website had such vague information. I’d like to know what the central computer was running for a OS, and what they had in place on the system (as well as the individual plane terminals) for protection. And what exactly was the trojan? 2010-08-23 8:14 pm dmantione This is really crap journalism, suggesting that the plane itself was infected with a virus through an USB stick. Of course story is now copied everywhere on the internet, even by serious newspapers. The MD82 is an airplane design from the 1980’s. Its computers predate Windows, and predate USB, and predate modern malware. The issue is not about the plane’s computers, but about a computer being used by technicians. Edited 2010-08-23 20:16 UTC 2010-08-23 9:14 pm iskios There is no journalism anymore. Wikileaks is probably the closest thing to journalism we have left, and that’s not really journalism, it’s just information posted for all to see. 2010-08-23 10:10 pm Tuishimi Where are you getting that? I read the article and all it says was that the virus prevented a warning that might have prevented the plane from taking off? I don’t see anything irresponsible in this article. On the contrary I think it is good that it is vague because the investigation is still on-going. I think you are reading your own ideas into the article itself. It seemed quite clear to me that the system that is used to monitor/track issues with the planes was what was affected, not the plane itself. 2010-08-24 1:14 am Soulbender Oh come on now. Don’t you know? Blogs and sites like osnews is the future of journalism. God help us all. 2010-08-23 10:41 pm coreyography As is typically the case, there seems to have been some procedural/human error involved, though not all the details appear to be known yet (and lawyers are involved apparently). http://isc.sans.edu/diary.html?storyid=9433&rss That said, the article was confusing, if not fictional. 2010-08-23 10:54 pm Neolander …I saw a picture about this ages ago ! http://fourquestions.us/images/airplanebsod.jpg 2010-08-25 1:06 pm tony The crash was caused by the pilots failing to extend flaps and slats before the takeoff roll. Slats and flaps cause the wings to generate more lift at lower speeds, so the plane can climb. Because of the swept-wing design of modern airliners, they’re critical for generating enough lift at slower speeds for takeoff and landing. PS: I’m a pilot.