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Computer Virus Infects U.S. Predator, Reaper Drones

By - Source: Wired | B 7 comments

A mysterious computer virus has infected the Predator and Reaper drones of the U.S. Military.

According to a report published by Wired, the Virus was first found about two weeks ago and was several times removed from the systems. However, the virus keeps coming back and there appears to be no solution how to effectively get rid of it.

The virus did not prevent pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying the drones, but sources told Wired that the virus is logging every keystroke.

“We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back,” one source said. “We think it’s benign. But we just don’t know.”

There is no information where the virus came from and how far it has spread. However, security specialists believe that the virus has had access to "both classified and unclassified machines."

The virus was apparently detected by the military's Host Based Security System (HBSS), which is used by the Department of Defense to detect cyber threats such as malware.

At the very least, the virus' activity as a keylogger appears to be suspicious, especially since the software of the drones have been previously targeted and attackers were able to intercept video transmissions with software that can be purchased for less than $30.

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  • 0 Hide
    wifiwolf , 9 October 2011 13:01
    Seems people don't have a clue about computer virus.
    How can it be benign even if it does no harm. If it got there, it's a problem. If it has a backdoor or rootkit even more of a problem.
  • 0 Hide
    CPU666d1 , 9 October 2011 14:01
    It can't be benign if it keeps on coming back after they get rid of it all the time. Who wants a virus that can log every keystroke. I would not want to be there IT staff, that's for sure.
  • 0 Hide
    einheriar , 9 October 2011 18:04
    Now a show of fingers.. Is it chinese or russian in origin?
  • Display all 7 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , 9 October 2011 20:05
    just like in the terminator movies! they are becoming self aware!!!
  • 1 Hide
    Rab1d-BDGR , 9 October 2011 23:51
    I think they're using the benign/malignant analogy from cancer - benign (non-cancerous) tumours can still have bad effects (pressing on surrounding structures, releasing unwanted hormones) but they aren't like malignant tumour that spread everywhere and kill you quickly. I.e. the virus isn't crashing these drones into the ground or causing them to attack targets against the wishes of the pilots, just logging keystrokes, for now.
  • 1 Hide
    silver565 , 10 October 2011 02:39
    Oh China.... You so crazy
  • -1 Hide
    swamprat , 10 October 2011 16:56
    It's quite impressive how vulnerable military systems usually are - a few billion pounds/dollars/euros and prone to viruses (granted I don't know how sophisticated they are).

    Waffleburger rightly points out that this is skynet taking over - but another option is that as the aliens in Independence Day found out, super advanced systems can catch viruses from twerps that somehow know the details of the your computer language.