Note to pilot: run Windows Update prior to takeoff


The new US stealth fighter, the F-22 Raptor, was deployed for the first time to Asia earlier this month. On Feb. 11, twelve Raptors flying from Hawaii to Japan were forced to turn back when a software glitch crashed all of the F-22s’ on-board computers as they crossed the international date line.

The delay in arrival in Japan was previously reported, with rumors of problems with the software. CNN reported that every fighter completely lost all navigation and communications when they crossed the International Date Line. They reportedly had to turn around and follow their tankers by visual contact back to Hawaii. According to the CNN story, if they had not been with their tankers, or the weather had been bad, this would have been serious.

I have to think there’s going to come a time when wars are fought by warrior hackers, each trying to take down the other sides computers. Or there may come a day when an airliner falls out of the sky because software failed on all the redundant systems. I sure hope not.

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March 1, 2007 6:42 am

Actually, this isn’t a new problem. The Space Shuttle won’t fly between December 31 and January 1 because Nasa can’t say how the onboard computers will react to the year change.
And I think the time is already here when hackers from each side try to take down the other side’s computers. IT warfare is serious business in the military sector. You should’ve seen how many guys with military hair cuts were in Vegas this year. Of course, they thought they were “blending in.”

March 1, 2007 11:15 am

I didn’t know about the Space Shuttle limitation…but I do know that yes hackers do fight some “wars” today.
But I was thinking more like a legitimized military group, like the “344th Mobile Hacker Brigade”

March 2, 2007 10:30 am

I can’t find it, but at one time I had a humourous photo (as long as you’re not on the plane during flight) of a glass cockpit with the infamous Windows Blue Screen of Death on every display.

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