Malware-infected Mainframe May Have Doomed Spanish Airliner

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timmyw

It's tragic but it ultimately rests with the pilot. He did not extend the flaps for takeoff. A fundamental yet very important part of the take-off routine. Neither him nor the co-pilot checked the flaps as required by the pre-takeoff checklist. It appears that a warning indication did not function properly but that doesn't relieve the pilot of responsibility. The pilot should have also reviewed any outstanding gripes against the aircraft during his pre-flight.

As for the malware connection, it is very tenuous at best. Three fault reports should have caused the plane to be grounded for maintenance. Two reports were filed the day before and one more the day of the crash. However, if you go and read the original reports, typically it takes 24 hours for the faults to be logged on that malware-infested computer. Something that would not normally have happened until after the crash. Other than malware being found there is absolutely no indication that the malware had anything to do with the plane not being grounded.

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Biceps

Flaps are pretty important, in that they provide lift at slower speeds.  Knowing that a professional pilot could actually forget to extend the flaps is pretty terrifying.  It's like forgetting to tie BOTH your sneakers before you go jogging.

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LatiosXT

... doesn't automatically mean it's the most insecure thing in the world. Any IT professional worth his or her salt would at least set up basic security measures, even if the OS running on it was say Windows XP or Windows 2003.

What strikes me as odd is why would this thing be connected to the internet, a great source of malware, in the first place? The database should be strictly tied within the airport's local network because it has no business of being known in the big world. Yes, we could blame the pilot for an error, but I think someone in the airport is to blame for cutting the safety net (or maybe letting it be cut). These things exists to catch problems because people's lives are at stake here.

By the way the last paragraph was there to elliminate the possibility that it was connected to the internet. If it was... Someone should fire the IT at the airport.

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Markitzero

They should have used linux

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Corfy

Ever notice how, when talking about an unstable or infected computer, the OS the computer runs is almost never mentioned?  That almost always means it is running Windows. Yet when an infection involves Mac or Linux, that never fails to get mentioned. Why is that?

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CentiZen

ROFL!!! Mainframes don't run windows man!!!! Nice try though. Guess you'll have to find some other articles to bitch and moan about windows on.

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sayeret

It's an interesting twist, but ultimately the crash was still pilot error IMO.  They failed to extend the flaps for takeoff, which is a major item on two checklists.  The fact that an annunciator light failed to illuminate after they missed the item on both checklists doesn't alter their responsibility for not physically moving and checking the flap lever.

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williezzy

So it has taken them this long to figure out that the system had malware on it? I wonder how many other airliner mainframes around the world have malware. Also, this is the first time I have actually ever heard of people dieing because of malware. As a side note, should I buy the full version of Malwarebytes, or is the free version good enough for most things?

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kingjack (not verified)

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silica

Methinks someone didn't proofread this one - "had the computer been in rude health"?

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thetechchild

Don't comment on uses of slang/expressions until you Google it : http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/in+rude+health.html

On topic: This is really, really stupid. How the hell did malware get on a large & critical server? What, some idiot torrented on it? Or maybe this server is running a Windows OS w/o any form of security, while connected to the Internet on a public network? Jeez...

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Mighty BOB!

Right because "rude health" is SUCH a widespread idiom.

I would put money on the malware having got there via USB flash drive.

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Lizardofodd

Idiom Definitions for 'In rude health'If someone's in rude health, they are very healthy and look it.

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