Humanity is in an era where computer viruses and Trojans can cause deaths. This is supposedly the case when it comes to the tragic Spanair flight JK-5022 crash. It was reported that a ground computer that was responsible for triggering an alarm after three failures of the system failed to do so because it was infected with Trojan malware.
El Pais, the news paper reported that the Trojan affected the computer system which failed to raise an alarm when it was expected to do so. The system was located in the flight. The airline company Palma de Mallorca which had initially programmed the system to raise an alarm on the monitor if a fault for three similar technical problems was identified.
Preliminary investigation reported that the SpanAir flight crashed due to a take off attempt with its flaps and slats retracted which was an improper configuration for take off and the safeguards that should have prevented the crash failed to do so. It was the Aircraft Warning System (TOWS) that failed to alert the pilots about the improper configuration. It was now found that malware had infected the plane’s central computer system resulting in a failure to raise an alarm over multiple problems with the plane.
Investigators reported that the TOWS system didn’t go off as it was affected by a malicious program which restricted the alarm program to function. After the report was out, a senior Judge asked for more proof to support this report. There are two defendants in the case and both include Spanair Technicians.
The Spanair crash killed 154 of its 172 passengers and crew.
Viruses and Trojans including malware have crippled the computer industry and anything that has to do with electronics. A recent report was released which said that there is a high degree of risk as viruses were targeting hardware in a new strategy to attack a host. With the recent acquisition of McAfee, Intel intends to counter this new threat.