Tuesday, March 25, 2014
When computers strike....
Here's an original hypothesis (mine) that could explain the disappearance of MH370 that has a less-than-a-needle-in-a-haystack chance of ever being proven: Unknown hackers gained remote control of the jetliner, leaving the pilots powerless to control their craft. The hackers disabled certain systems and steered the plane in a direction of their choosing.
The pilots couldn't control turn, climb, descent, or even communicate their dilemma. It was a beta test to see if they could actually do it. Then the hackers crashed it into the most remote spot they could think of that would make recovery all but impossible.
It's technically possible. As a demonstration some "good guy" hackers have shown they can get into the computers that control a car's functions and apply the brakes, turn the steering, shut off the power, etc. (Read more about it via THIS link.) With such reliance on onboard computers, cars, planes, power grids, even home appliances can be tapped into and subverted. The possibilities are real and endless.
Can you imagine the hysteria that would paralyze us if we thought bad guys could take control of our transportation system and cause wrecks willy-nilly? Transportation is critical to advanced civilizations. The mobility of people, and more importantly commerce, defines modern society. Lose that ability and we're screwed.
Of course, if investigators found this to be the cause of the MH370 crash they couldn't admit it, as just the knowledge such a thing was possible would paralyze us.
"Live by computer, die by computer" as they say. My yellow pad and #2 pencil are lookin' pretty good now, huh? :)
aka The Technological Neanderthal
EDIT: As I was composing this K came into the Great Room and said, "Oops. I think I changed the channel on your TV by mistake. Sorry." It seems she was in the bedroom and, using a cell phone app, changed the channel on the wrong TV. *cue The Twilight Zone music*