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back to article Deadly Spanish train disaster exploited by malware mail scumbags

This week's Spanish train disaster, in which at least 80 people were killed after a speeding train derailed, is being exploited by internet pondlife to spread malware. Security outfit Dynamoo spotted email spam that links to what's claimed to be to a CNN news story. Marks who click the URL end up on a hacked website riddled with …

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Devil

Of course it is. Those leeches love terrible tragic news to exploit for their profit. The sooner they are cast in to a pit and shelled the better.

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Devil

And the networks of Murdoch's empire do what?

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Unhappy

A little off topic, but...

That video is so tragic. It really brings home the responsibilities involved with big heavy things full of people that travel at over 200 kph. I'm sure lessons will be learned around the world from this incident.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A little off topic, but...

The main lesson at the moment seems to be to hire train drivers who keep to the (80kph) speed limit. It will be interesting to find out if, and how, the automatic speed controls were disabled.

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Alert

Re: A little off topic, but...

I can't speak for the Spanish system, but in the uk, an Automatic Warning System (AWS) activates before a sign which gives advance warning of a major drop in the speed limit. The driver has to push a button to acknowledge this warning and then look out for the signal/sign that pertains to it. If the AWS is not acknowledged in a set time, the brakes are automatically applied to bring the train to a stop. Of course, you could end up in a situation where a driver just pushes a button every time the AWS triggers, and eventually misses the hazard it's supposed to warn you about. There is nothing to "force" a uk train to obey the speed limit.

On the other hand, at almost 200 kph, it'll take at least a mile for a train to stop on emergency brakes. the crash happened 2.2 km from the end station. Imagine how much worse this disaster could have been had the train not derailed where it did and smashed into a station instead.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A little off topic, but...

If the Train and Line was equipped with the ECTS then the brakes would have been automatically applied if a speed restriction sign was passed whiles traveling at a higher speed. It seems that the Train was one of those supplied by Alstholm then it should have been fitted with ECTS unless RENFE were cutting back on costs at the time.

ECTS = European Train control System

My understanding of this area might be a little dated as it have been a while since I worked on signalling systems so ECTS might have been replaced by something newer.

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Re: A little off topic, but...

@ElectricFox: A couple of points, the accident was about 2.2 miles from the station, and it wasn't the terminus, though it does sound that it was due to stop there. Certainly something was very wrong for there to be such a significant overspeed, the driver has 30 years experience including a year on that line, so you would expect him to be familiar with the tunnel and tight radius bend after it, regardless of whether the signage was in good condition or not.

@AC: The train is (wiki as source here) a Talgo/Bombardier loco, variously referred to as Talgo 250, Renfe Class S130 or Renfe S730 - "Safety systems (signalling) can include ETCS Level 2, LZB, ASFA and Ebicab900TBS" [wiki] - I did see or hear one rail safety expert saying ASFA was in use, but can't find that now to verify it.

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Re: A little off topic, but...

Wow, thanks for clearing me up on that. Only on the Register can you get comments from people with so much knowledge in tech subjects.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A little off topic, but...

One of the 1st reports that I heard was that this section of track has no automatic systems fitted, that the train was classed as high speed, but the track was not.

However as we know in the early days of a disaster, the truth often isn't

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Silver badge

Major tabloids no better

I have never bought a tabloid newspaper for exactly the same reason. The people that exploit these situations are no worse that those that consume it....

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Bronze badge

Surrender, Dorothy!

After all, SpamCop and the google have surrendered to the spammers, and Yahoo has been on their side for years already.

As someone who really hates spammers and who wants to make their business models less profitable, I have to express extra dismay this week, since SpamCop has evidently thrown in the towel, too. Maybe it was inevitable since CIsco acquired them a couple of years ago. After all, from Cisco's position, there's nothing wrong with spam as long as someone is willing to pay for the extra hardware to handle the extra packets created by the spammers. At least that's how it looks to the short-term bean counters.

What I don't understand is why the major email providers continue to support the spammers. I'll offer a prize to anyone who can convince me there is ANY positive value added to ANY part of the Internet by any spammer. They just suck value from everyone in their desperate search for suckers, and especially from the value of email systems.

There have been some cosmetic 'improvements' in the email systems I use, but the #1 problem remains the same as it ever was: SPAM. Does anyone know of an email system that has integrated spam-fighting tools? I'm talking about a system that would let me help in targeting ALL of the spammers' infrastructure, help pursue ALL of the spammers' accomplices, and even help and protect ALL of the spammers' victims, including the suckers, the email systems, and even the companies whose reputations are abused by the spammers.

Yes, I know that we can't create a perfect world and eliminate all of the spam. However, I believe we can reduce their profits and have less spam, and I even believe that the email system that did it first and best would be significantly more valuable.

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Anonymous Coward

So exploiting people when there isn't a disaster

is OK then?

I'm shocked I tell you...

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