Feeds

Trojan-ridden warning system implicated in Spanair crash

Cascading fail

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Malware may have been a contributory cause of a fatal Spanair crash that killed 154 people two years ago.

Spanair flight number JK 5022 crashed with 172 on board moments after taking off from Madrid's Barajas Airport on a scheduled flight to Las Palmas on 20 August 2008. Just 18 survived the crash and subsequent fire aboard the McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft.

The airline's central computer which registered technical problems on planes was infected by Trojans at the time of the fatal crash and this resulted in a failure to raise an alarm over multiple problems with the plane, according to Spanish daily El Pais (report here). The plane took off with flaps and slats retracted, something that should in any case have been picked up by the pilots during pre-flight checks or triggered an internal warning on the plane. Neither happened, with tragic consequences, according to a report by independent crash investigators.

The accident on take-off happened after pilots had abandoned an earlier take-off attempt and a day after two other reported problems on board. If the airlines' central computer was working properly a take-off after three warnings would not have been allowed, thereby averting the tragedy.

A mechanic who checked the plane before take-off and an airport maintenance chief are under investigation and face possible manslaughter charges. Investigating judge Juan David Perez has ordered Spanair to supply data on the state of its systems at the time of the crash. An investigation commission is due to report on the case by December. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.