On Aug 23, 2010, at 11:50 30AM, John Levine wrote:

>>> "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...."
>>> 
>>> http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38790670/ns/technology_and_science-security/?gt1=43001
> 
> This was very poorly reported.  The malware was on a ground system that
> wouldn't have provided realtime warnings of the configuration problem
> that caused the plane to crash anyway.
> 

And the articles I've seen do not say that the problem caused the crash.  
Rather, they say that a particular, important computer was infected with 
malware; I saw no language (including in the Google translation of the original 
article at 
http://www.elpais.com/articulo/espana/ordenador/Spanair/anotaba/fallos/aviones/tenia/virus/elpepiesp/20100820elpepinac_11/Tes,
 though the translation has some crucial infelicities) that said "because of 
the malware, bad things happened.  It may be like the reactor computer with a 
virus during a large blackout -- yes, the computer was infected, but that 
wasn't what caused the problem.


                --Steve Bellovin, http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb





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