Malware partly blamed for Fatal 2008 Spanair Crash

Malware has been implicated as a contributing factor in a Spanair plane crash that killed 154 people two years ago Friday. The crash of Spanair flight JK 5022 occurred just after takeoff, two years ago, on August 20, 2008.

The crash was Spain's deadliest in 25 years. Only 18 of the 172 passengers and crew survived. The plane, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft, was taking on from Madrid's Barajas Airport on a scheduled flight to Las Palmas.

While not directly involved in the crash, the malware affected the mainframe that monitors technical problems on the plane, according to the Spanish language paper El Pais. An alarm is supposed to sound if three similar technical problems are registered on a single plane, but it did not go off, as a result of the Trojans infecting the mainframe.

While it was determined that pilot error was reponsible for the crash, as both the slats and flaps were not set properly, the onboard alarm system did not alert the pilots as it should.

Obviously, if the mainframe had not been infected, and its alarm had sounded, lives might have been saved. You can watch video of the actual crash below:

Tags:  Malware, virus, trojan