October 07, 2011
Marvi: Virus Infects Drone Fleet Computers
If the computers we use to fly Predator and Reaper missions can be infected by a keylogging virus, then they can be infected by even worse ones. Which means our military networks are nowhere near safe.
The story begs the obvious question: if the virus was intentionally targeted at our military instillation, then who is behind it?
China and Iran come immediately to mind, but let's not leave Russia out of the usual suspects lineup.
And could this be the work of a non-state actor? Say, the Anonymous hackers.
If so, would this qualify as an act of terrorism?
“We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back,” says a source familiar with the network infection, one of three that told Danger Room about the virus. “We think it’s benign. But we just don’t know.”If this turns out to be true, then it seems to me that the worst part is that the US military doesn't know how to remove the virus. I'm not 100% sure, but I think most of that kind of work is done by civilian contractors. I have a couple of buddies who do this kind of work. And if those guys can't fix this? Then we are in some deep sh*t.
Military network security specialists aren’t sure whether the virus and its so-called “keylogger” payload were introduced intentionally or by accident; it may be a common piece of malware that just happened to make its way into these sensitive networks. The specialists don’t know exactly how far the virus has spread. But they’re sure that the infection has hit both classified and unclassified machines at Creech. That raises the possibility, at least, that secret data may have been captured by the keylogger, and then transmitted over the public internet to someone outside the military chain of command.