Did malware lead to Madrid plane crash?

A deadly plane crash in Madrid two years ago could have potentially been averted by a computer warning system, but it was too clogged with malware, according to a report.

Did malware lead to Madrid plane crash?

An investigation into the crash of flight JK5022 – which killed 154 people in August 2008 – has suggested the computer used to track faults in the company’s aircraft was riddled with trojans, according to a report in the Spanish El Pais newspaper.

Normally, that computer system would alert airline staff if a plane was suffering the type of technical problem that lead to the crash – which looks to have been that the flaps and slats on the wings failed to move into the right position for takeoff.

However, trojans in the system may have slowed it down so no alert was sounded and the issues weren’t noted in time for take-off.

While ground staff or the plane’s internal staff could also have potentially seen the problem with the flaps, had the computers been functioning properly, disaster may have been averted, the report said.

A judge has now directed the airline to hand over computer data from before the crash to investigators.

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