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Malware Blamed For Disastrous Plane Crash
Gizmodo ^ | 20 August, 2010 | Gizmodo

Posted on 08/22/2010 12:52:55 PM PDT by James C. Bennett

 

154 lives were lost when Spanair Flight 5022 crashed moments after taking off from Madrid-Barajas International Airport in 2008. Now documents from an investigation into the incident are showing that a malware infection may have been to blame.

According to the investigation, the computer system used to monitor technical problems on the plane was infected with a trojan. As a result, there were no alerts or warnings for three technical issues which "if detected, may have prevented the plane from taking off."

The investigation is still not complete and authorities are trying to determine just how the malware got onto the computer system in question. [MSNBC]

Photo by Andy Mitchell

Update: To clarify, the computer system in question is described as being on the ground—not on the plane itself—and used to monitor the state of critical systems prior to take off.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: aircraft; airlines; computer; crash; malware; planecrash; spain; virus
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1 posted on 08/22/2010 12:52:59 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett
Please don't tell me that the avionics runs Windows.

Please.

2 posted on 08/22/2010 12:54:59 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The only stable state is one in which all men are equal before the law." -- Aristotle)
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To: James C. Bennett
Should have used spybot


3 posted on 08/22/2010 12:55:46 PM PDT by mylife (Opinions $1 Halfbaked 50c)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

The crash was pilot error. The malware was on a maintenance computer.

The trojan had nothing to do with it.


4 posted on 08/22/2010 12:57:04 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: mylife

I use that one all the time...! FREE! I LOVE IT..!


5 posted on 08/22/2010 12:57:51 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: gaijin

Free is always good!


6 posted on 08/22/2010 12:58:32 PM PDT by mylife (Opinions $1 Halfbaked 50c)
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To: James C. Bennett

If this is true; these punks need to be charged with murder.


7 posted on 08/22/2010 12:58:47 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

No matter what it runs on this is potentially a real big deal. Perhaps the W0n should ground all air traffic until this is finally settled. He could stay on Aunt Martha until the fecal matter clears from the ocean and swim home.


8 posted on 08/22/2010 12:58:49 PM PDT by Steamburg (The contents of your wallet is the only language Politicians understand.)
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To: driftdiver
The trojan had nothing to do with it.

Not according to the headline.

Which I understand is your point...

:D

9 posted on 08/22/2010 12:59:47 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The only stable state is one in which all men are equal before the law." -- Aristotle)
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To: James C. Bennett

I tell ya what. I want manual overides on stuff like cars and planes.


10 posted on 08/22/2010 1:00:57 PM PDT by mylife (Opinions $1 Halfbaked 50c)
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To: ShadowAce

We all knew this day would eventually come......


11 posted on 08/22/2010 1:01:28 PM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

You’ll be delighted to hear that the US Navy runs its ships on Windows NT...


12 posted on 08/22/2010 1:02:17 PM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 574 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: James C. Bennett
Freaking Chinese and their FakeAV crap probably....should’ve run Malwarebytes.
13 posted on 08/22/2010 1:03:47 PM PDT by BallyBill (WARNING:Taking me serious could cause stress related illness.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Probably an infected personal thumb drive introduced into the system. I’d hate to think the land based computer was linked to a network of other computers (other than those on the aircraft).


14 posted on 08/22/2010 1:07:47 PM PDT by historyrepeatz
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To: driftdiver

Failed to set flaps and slats before take off? Guy in the right seat must have been diddling with the stew.


15 posted on 08/22/2010 1:09:56 PM PDT by Ed Condon (Give 'em a heading, an altitude, and a reason.)
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To: James C. Bennett

EL PAÍS had a similar article yesterday...

As confirmed by this article, “The aircraft had already attempted an earlier departure, which the pilot had aborted after noticing excessive temperature in an air intake. A series of technical faults, including retracted flaps and inoperative alarms, is believed to have triggered the tragedy.”


Victims of Spanair crash say they are “abandoned by authorities”

Two years on, families of 154 dead remember Barajas tragedy

JOSÉ A. HERNÁNDEZ ANA MARCOS

The association of victims of Spanair flight JK 5022, which crashed in Madrid on August 20, 2008, paid tribute on Friday to the 154 people who died in Spain’s worst airline accident in 25 years.

Two memorial services were held, one at Barajas airport and another in the Canary Islands, where the flight was headed and where many of the victims lived.

Besides honoring their dead, relatives also complained about delays in the court investigation, which they attribute to a lack of technical means and a lack of effective action by the attorney’s office.

“A chill in the soul” is how some association members described the disappointment they feel in the way the investigation into the accident is being handled. Others talked about “loneliness” and being “abandoned by the institutions.”

Following the heartfelt tribute to the 154 victims, association chairwoman Pilar Vera and other members of the board called a press conference to request more institutional support in their “calvary” and criticize the oblivion that they have fallen into.

“Following the parade of authorities [after the accident], a week later we were all alone,” said Vera. “A chill got into our souls, but despite thatwe will continue to fight.”

But Vera reserved her harshest criticism for the attorney, whom she said has spent very little time on the case, while praising the investigating judge, Juan David Pérez, who is exclusively dedicated to it. She also noted that the fact there are 70 lawyers involved means that the process is constantly delayed.

To illustrate the slow going, Vera said that two years after the crash, the judge is still waiting for the expert report on the causes of the accident, which took place a few seconds after takeoff from Barajas. The aircraft had already attempted an earlier departure, which the pilot had aborted after noticing excessive temperature in an air intake. A series of technical faults, including retracted flaps and inoperative alarms, is believed to have triggered the tragedy.

The Spanair computer that kept track of technical failures in the company’s aircraft was infected with viruses at the time of the tragic crash of Flight JK 5022 two years ago on Friday, according to an internal report.

The computer, which is located at the airline’s base in Palma de Mallorca, sets off an alarm on the monitor when it encounters three similar glitches in the same airplane. The aircraft that crashed shortly after takeoff in Barajas on August 20, 2008, killing 154, had three technical failures that were not recorded in time in the computer.

An internal company report, dated the day of the accident, indicates that the computer was infected with Trojan viruses, malicious programs that can damage the machine and leave it open to hacker attacks.

The accident’s victims association wants the investigating judge to ask Spanair for a list of all the incidents recorded in the computer in the days before and after the accident. The magistrate has agreed to their petition.

Additionally, it took Spanair around 24 hours to note its aircrafts’ technical failures in the computer’s files, as two airline mechanics have admitted in court. It is likely that Flight JK 5022 would not have taken off at all had its technical sheet been up to date.


16 posted on 08/22/2010 1:11:08 PM PDT by luckybogey
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
So you think that Windows is the only software system susceptible to viruses? Interesting.
17 posted on 08/22/2010 1:22:13 PM PDT by SunTzuWu
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Yeah sorry, wasn’t too clear on that point. Swordmaker must be behind all these stories blaming the OS.

Stupid journalists.


18 posted on 08/22/2010 1:23:59 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Ed Condon

Probably playing with his new ipad.


19 posted on 08/22/2010 1:27:09 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: null and void
You’ll be delighted to hear that the US Navy runs its ships on Windows NT...

I was just impressed with the bravery of today's bluejacket.

Don't tell them I said so.

20 posted on 08/22/2010 1:47:55 PM PDT by magslinger (DISCLAIMER: No liberals were harmed in the making of this post. I'm sorry and will try harder.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Somebody went to a lot of trouble to leave out that the plane was a McDonnell Douglas MD-82. I Googled the crash (Flight Number) and really had to search to find the type of aircraft.


21 posted on 08/22/2010 1:56:55 PM PDT by B4Ranch (America was founded by MARKSMEN, not Marxists.)
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To: ShadowAce; Swordmaker

ping


22 posted on 08/22/2010 1:57:50 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (*)
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To: James C. Bennett
I Hate Popups Pictures, Images and Photos
23 posted on 08/22/2010 2:14:48 PM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: driftdiver

Checklist? We don’t need no steenkin checklist!!


24 posted on 08/22/2010 2:24:31 PM PDT by Ed Condon (Give 'em a heading, an altitude, and a reason.)
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To: SunTzuWu
So you think that Windows is the only software system susceptible to viruses? Interesting.

No, I think that Windows is a monstrosity of kluged-together code that, as the most prevalent operating system by far, also has the most effort aimed at finding ways to force stack overflow errors and root access.

There are so many better choices for embedded systems.

What would be interesting is if you disagree.

25 posted on 08/22/2010 2:32:48 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The only stable state is one in which all men are equal before the law." -- Aristotle)
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To: driftdiver
Yeah sorry, wasn’t too clear on that point. Swordmaker must be behind all these stories blaming the OS.

Sorry, the Microsoft OS is behind all these stories blaming the OS. I don't have that kind of power. I do thank you for thinking I am that powerful.

26 posted on 08/22/2010 2:46:24 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft product "insult" free zone!)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
...the most prevalent operating system by far.

That's the real reason that Windows is such a target. If Linux or Apple had the market share that Microsoft has then they would be the target and all the self appointed software snobs would have someone else to talk trash about.

27 posted on 08/22/2010 2:46:31 PM PDT by SunTzuWu
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To: SunTzuWu

Not necessarily true. Windows has architectural weaknesses not present in other OS’s.

Such fundamental things as the way that a Linux based OS handles executable files makes them less vulnerable to all sorts of potential attacks.


28 posted on 08/22/2010 3:05:48 PM PDT by UK_Jeffersonian
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Please don't tell me that the avionics runs Windows.

Actually that would be O.K. to tell, but if it was running apple software forum rules don't allow that. :-)
29 posted on 08/22/2010 3:22:07 PM PDT by JSteff ((((It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.))))
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To: Swordmaker

“Sorry, the Microsoft OS is behind all these stories blaming the OS”

Nope its poor journalism.


30 posted on 08/22/2010 3:22:11 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: UK_Jeffersonian

‘Not necessarily true. Windows has architectural weaknesses not present in other OS’s.”

Really? Windows 7 has architectural weaknesses?

Most malware is introduced through user action. Click on a pdf or a jpg and the rest is easy.


31 posted on 08/22/2010 3:24:41 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: SunTzuWu
That's the real reason that Windows is such a target. If Linux or Apple had the market share that Microsoft has then they would be the target and all the self appointed software snobs would have someone else to talk trash about.

That canard of "Security by Obscurity" has little to do with it, Sun. Apple will soon top 60,000,000 OS X systems in the wild. What exactly is the number of systems—99% of which are running bare naked to the Internet, not protected in any way except for a built-in Trojan horse identifier—before hackers, crackers, and other assorted malware writers suddenly gain an interest in computers that are owned by people who demographically have more disposable income, who have a reputation (wrongly) of being naive about computer protection, and who (under the Windows standard) should be considered "sitting ducks" to be invaded and taken over?

When a 2000 unit BotNet is worth $50,000 on the blackmarket for a mere TWO WEEK window of operation, where are the Mac OSX botnets that should be sprouting up everywhere among all these so-called "totally vulnerable", unprotected OSX Macs, if every OS were equally easy to penetrate? So far, there are THOUSANDS of Windows botnets and not ONE Apple Mac OSX botnet spreading malware. Not one.

(In the interests of full disclosure: in April 2009, two Symantec security specialists published an article in The Virus Bulletin, an independent $150 a month hacker journal, that they had identified a 20,000 member Mac OSX botnet in the wild spreading Trojans OSX.Iservice and OSX.Iservice.B malware in Europe. However, no other anti-malware company, including Symantec {!} or other researcher, anywhere, ever found even one member of this botnet. The two Symantec employees had not even reported their find to Symantec... something that did not go over well with Symantec, who after investigation, fired both of them. To date, no example of either the botnet, or OSX.Iservice and OSX.Iservice.B, have ever been seen in the wild. Never-the-less, this "botnet" was a three-day-wonder in the technical media... until it died and ignominious death of back page retractions and red-faced non-apologies.)

OS X has been in the wild for ten years now and there are still ZERO self-propagating, self-installing, self-transmitting viruses for OSX in the wild. There have been less than a dozen known proof-of-concept candidates for such viruses... and NOT ONE OF THEM WORKED! There are currently 17 known Trojans in three distinct families in the wild for OS X... and everyone of those families is identified BY THE OS, which warns the user they are downloading or installing a known Trojan. These Trojans are easy to remove if the user does install one. There is no "registry" to get corrupted on a Mac... and the ROOT files are protected. Data and heap overflow vulnerabilities are not so much of a problem on Macs because the data is loaded into NON-EXECUTABLE memory locations... usually, the worst thing that can happen is the app using that data crashes, resulting in a Denial of Service condition until the app is restarted. Any malicious code hidden in the overflow can do no harm because it cannot execute in that memory location.

The real reason that Windows is such a target is that it is a swiss cheese operating system that was not built from the ground up with multiple users and the access from the outside in mind. UNIX™ and it's derivative Linux were.

In addition, many of the "black box" test equipment devices such as these aircraft plug in status boxes, while they may seem ultra-modern, are using older non-updated versions of Windows. The operational theory being that they are never intended to connect to the internet and so need no stinkin' updates... "Don't fix what ain't broken." I have seen in-house dedicated computers running Windows95 and 98, and even a few MEs, some even without service packs... plugging away, perfectly operational. All it takes, with one of these, is a single time connected to the internet (or perhaps someone bringing in an unauthorized disk, flashdrive, etc.,) without protection and WHAM! infected. I would not be surprised to see that is the case with this situation. It is unlikely that a test equipment computer would be connected to the internet.

On the other hand, there may be a LAN network of test computers... all of which are not connected to the WAN. All it takes for that to be compromised is for ONE to be connected. I've seen that happen when a newby IT guy is brought in who is unfamiliar with the REASON the LAN is not connected to the Internet, and he decides "Wouldn't it be cool for the Service Manager to be able to connect to the LAN and monitor the reports from home... or his cell phone"... and hooks it up. WHAM! again... what once was an island of security has had its doors opened to the world without proper defenses put in place. It is REALLY hard to put the camel out side again, once he's gotten in.

32 posted on 08/22/2010 3:31:39 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft product "insult" free zone!)
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To: driftdiver
Really? Windows 7 has architectural weaknesses?

Windows7 was running on a piece of avionics test equipment in 2008 when this accident occurred? Not by a long shot.

My considered opinion is that it would be likely WindowsXP... and maybe even Windows98. .. and probably not updated.

33 posted on 08/22/2010 3:35:04 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft product "insult" free zone!)
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To: Swordmaker

“Windows7 was running on a piece of avionics test equipment in 2008 when this accident occurred? Not by a long shot. “

Nope

“My considered opinion is that it would be likely WindowsXP... and maybe even Windows98. .. and probably not updated.”

Please read the story, your slip is showing. The plane wasn’t running any windows OS and the accident wasn’t caused by the malware. The accident was pilot error.

The story claims that a poorly maintained maintenance computer caused the crash. Just another microsoft hit job.


34 posted on 08/22/2010 3:37:43 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Swordmaker

My post was a response to a general statement “..I think that Windows is a monstrosity of kluged-together code that”

Which is incorrect.


35 posted on 08/22/2010 3:42:00 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Swordmaker

“That canard of “Security by Obscurity” has little to do with it, Sun. Apple will soon top 60,000,000 OS X systems in the wild. What exactly is the number of systems—99% of which are running bare naked to the Internet, not protected in any way except for a built-in Trojan horse identifier”

We’ve already seen Apple admit that certain vulnerabilities will allow a hacker to run any code they want on certain OS versions. That was announced in an Apple notification.

100,000 new malware signatures are created every single day mostly targeted at Windows systems. Apple makes up less than 5% of the desktop market. We’ve already seen some new malware targeted at Apple.

But perhaps you missed the thread that OS fights weren’t acceptable on FR anymore. So why are you doing it?


36 posted on 08/22/2010 3:48:32 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver
Please read the story, your slip is showing. The plane wasn’t running any windows OS and the accident wasn’t caused by the malware. The accident was pilot error.

Thank you, your assumption that I did not read the story is incorrect. You are reading far too much into this, driftdiver. No slip here. The story referred to the fact that the software failed to warn that a human error was occurring. That software failure was not detected due to the fact that the ground based test equipment was infected by a trojan. The concatation of events led to, or contributed to the disaster.

Quit defending Microsoft for their software errors of the past.

37 posted on 08/22/2010 5:28:04 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft product "insult" free zone!)
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To: driftdiver
But perhaps you missed the thread that OS fights weren’t acceptable on FR anymore. So why are you doing it?

I'm not. Discussions of software and hardware are permitted. Flames and personal attacks, as you did in your first reference to me in this thread, are not.

38 posted on 08/22/2010 5:31:56 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft product "insult" free zone!)
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To: Swordmaker

“Discussions of software and hardware are permitted.”

Thats one interpretation. So you’re ok with discussing apple’s problems as you have done here with Microsoft? In the past that always led to flame wars.


39 posted on 08/22/2010 5:38:19 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Swordmaker

So the computer would have warned the pilots that they forgot to set the flaps?

That is incorrect. Pilot error caused the accident, not a computer.


40 posted on 08/22/2010 5:39:26 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver
Thats one interpretation. So you’re ok with discussing apple’s problems as you have done here with Microsoft? In the past that always led to flame wars.

You are free to interpret Jim Robinson' s quite explicit and straight forward prohibition of personal attacks and flames however you wish. Those who have interpreted too freely by starting the personal attacks have felt his wrath. He does not mind discussing hardware or software. He draws the line at incivility.

41 posted on 08/22/2010 5:47:11 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft product "insult" free zone!)
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To: driftdiver
So the computer would have warned the pilots that they forgot to set the flaps?

That is incorrect. Pilot error caused the accident, not a computer.

Absolutely!

I delved deeper than just the Gizmodo article on this issue and the inboard warning system was not working. Among the warnings the pilot did NOT get was the "FLAPS NOT EXTENDED" voice alert on the start of his take-off roll out. But let's just go with what the Gizmodo article reports that you claim only reports that a computer had nothing to do with the events that lead up to the deaths of all these people.

"According to the investigation, the computer system used to monitor technical problems on the plane was infected with a trojan. As a result, there were no alerts or warnings for three technical issues which "if detected, may have prevented the plane from taking off."

Had the ground based test computer been doing its job, perhaps the failed inboard warning computer would have been detected and either red tagged the flight or been replaced before take-off, thereby warning the pilot that the co-pilot had neglected to set the flaps in take off position. In other words, a critical safety warning system relied on by the pilot to warn him that thing were OK with the aircraft, FAILED and was not detected as having failed despite a routine, required check, because the device used to do that routine pre-flight check, was infected with a Trojan. I rest my case.

42 posted on 08/22/2010 6:04:17 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft product "insult" free zone!)
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To: Swordmaker

Using their paper checklist would have avoided the issue. They didn’t appear to have consulted their checklist. Perhaps if the co-pilot hadn’t been playing with his ipod he would have thought of the checklist.


43 posted on 08/22/2010 7:25:24 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver; E. Pluribus Unum
Using their paper checklist would have avoided the issue. They didn’t appear to have consulted their checklist. Perhaps if the co-pilot hadn’t been playing with his ipod he would have thought of the checklist.

You are really something, driftdiver. You make this totally false and absurd claim with absolutely no evidence and you accuse ME of attempting to start a Flame war. Sheesh!

The evidence is that a computer, brand and OS unknown, but reasonable persons can draw their own conclusions, infected by a Trojan malware of unknown type, DID contribute to this tragedy. You spend a lot of posts trying to deny it. Evidence ALSO indicates that human error, most likely on the part of the co-pilot who was responsible for setting the condition of the flaps, was the proximate cause of the accident. Had the computer NOT been compromised, the evidence indicates it is likely the human error COULD have been caught before the accident occurred and 180 lives saved! It was not.

I would argue that a strong case of Felony Murder could be brought against the author of the Trojan that infected that piece of test equipment.

There is NO evidence that an Apple product of any kind had any contribution to this event at all. Your false claim is exactly the type of DELIBERATE FLAME BAITING tripe that Jim Robinson has made off limits on FreeRepublic. You posted it with sole purpose of attempting to get an intemperate response. I refuse to play.

44 posted on 08/22/2010 11:12:41 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft product "insult" free zone!)
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To: Swordmaker

Once again, the pilots caused the accident. You can try to blame all the other stuff but they didn’t do their job.

The reason the airline is trying to blame malware is to deflect liability. Like the pilots didn’t do their job, the maintenance crews failed in theirs as well.

In fact the maintenance team did their job so poorly there are some reports they will be charged criminally.

If no apple product was involved why have you started the old apple/windows wars? Why was apple even mentioned in this thread?


45 posted on 08/23/2010 3:37:44 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver; RachelFaith; antiRepublicrat; dayglored
If no apple product was involved why have you started the old apple/windows wars? Why was apple even mentioned in this thread?

You were the one who mentioned Apple, negatively, deliberately so...

You falsely claimed the co-pilot was negligent and Apple was involved because the co-pilot was:

Reply 19 — "Probably playing with his new ipad."

Then you repeated your false and inflamatory assertion of Apple involvement and raised the ante by removing the "probably"—as though his involvement with an Apple product was an accepted fact—and baldly stating:

Reply 43 — "Perhaps if the co-pilot hadn’t been playing with his ipod he would have thought of the checklist."

I have merely cut through your bull and posted the facts as reported.

DO YOU HAVE ANY PROOF AT ALL THAT WHAT YOU SAID IS TRUE???

You are the one who has slung the ad hominems, driftdiver. In fact, in one of your first posts you deliberately maligned me by claiming:

Reply 18 — "Yeah sorry, wasn’t too clear on that point. Swordmaker must be behind all these stories blaming the OS."

All of these are totally gratuitous slurs and slams at Apple and then me. Cut it out.

46 posted on 08/23/2010 4:05:01 AM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft product "insult" free zone!)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Please don't tell me that the avionics runs Windows.

No, Windows isn't trusted for that. Airlines don't even run the avionics on Linux, although some use it for the entertainment systems on a separate network from the avionics. They use real-time operating systems like Integrity. Operating systems like this are designed from the ground-up for fault tolerance and availability.

47 posted on 08/23/2010 6:16:04 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: driftdiver
Really? Windows 7 has architectural weaknesses?

It's still natively backwards-compatible with Windows 3.1. I'd be scared if Model-T parts still fit my car.

48 posted on 08/23/2010 6:22:05 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Swordmaker
The real reason that Windows is such a target is that it is a swiss cheese operating system that was not built from the ground up with multiple users and the access from the outside in mind. UNIX™ and it's derivative Linux were.

I blame Bill Gates switching NT midstream from a modernized version of VMS (one of the most solid OSs in history) with a newly-designed modern API to a 32-bit version of Windows 3.x. It ended up only being designed to support small workgroups, nothing more. When I think of what Windows NT could have been...

49 posted on 08/23/2010 6:26:42 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: driftdiver

Looking at your comments here, what do you think about Windows shutting down air traffic control communications over the Southwest some years back?

They replaced a UNIX-based communications system with one running Windows 2000. The system used RPC. Windows 2000, and well through XP IIRC, had a bug where RPC would start taking all the system resources, basically making the computer unresponsive. This happened when the 32-bit RPC clock rolled over at 2^32 milliseconds, or 49.7 days. To avoid the bug the authors of the commo software put into the user manual that it was supposed to be restarted about every 45 days to avoid this, and programmed auto-restart code just before the 49.7 days. I presume the latter is because it’s easier for users to respond to a restart than wonder why commo is randomly getting dropped as the system slowly eats itself and dies.

Well, somebody didn’t read the manual, didn’t restart, and the system restarted itself, shutting down commo for a while. You might want to blame the developer, but that’s wrong. A system like that shouldn’t be regularly restarted, especially when they’re used to UNIX that just keeps running. The eventual “solution” was to put in an alarm before it shuts down. All of that was hacks to get around a fundamental operating system flaw.

Here’s a hint: If you want a system with high uptime, don’t use one that you KNOW FOR A FACT will crash on you every 49.7 days. Find an operating system that doesn’t have that flaw.


50 posted on 08/23/2010 6:43:09 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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