Computer virus takes out Bangkok airport’s x-ray machines

Posted by Frederick Roberts

Bangkok (Thailand) – Officials at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport are blaming a computer virus for disabling 17 baggage scanning machines.  Four of the machines started malfunctioning on Tuesday and by 8PM on Wednesday 17 more InVision CTX-9000 DSi machines were out of order.  The airport has moved baggage scanning to another system and is expected to dispatch 120 soldiers to help search bags.

The airport has 26 CTX, which stands for Computer Tomography X-Ray, machines in total which are made by a subsidiary of General Electric.  These machines are your typical belt x-ray machines that you see at most airports.  Baggages are scanned and pictures are analyzed through algorithms sent down from a server.  Airport officials say the server somehow was infected by a virus.

Government officials allege airport officials and former officials belonging to deposed Prime MinisterThaksin Shinawatra took bribes in return for installing the machines.  The machines were purchased through a local distributor Patriot Business Consultants for $65 million dollars, but investigators say almost half of that money could have been saved if the airport had bought the scanners directly from GE.