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Computer Virus Infects U.S. Predator, Reaper Drones

By - Source: Wired | B 65 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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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    fyasko , October 8, 2011 11:26 PM
    hire REAL IT security people instead of using so called military IT experts...
  • 24 Hide
    cmartin011 , October 8, 2011 11:31 PM
    china having a good laugh at our military now
  • 19 Hide
    tokencode , October 9, 2011 1:21 AM
    Is our military really this terrible? If your remote vehicle control system with guided missles is infected with a virus, YOU STOP USING IT. If it can log keystrokes, I'm sure it can insert them into the keyboard buffer potentially. They can't figure out how to remove a virus? How do you know this thing can't recieve a different payload? This country that our military has such incompentent security "experts" for the amount of money spent on our defense infrastructure. Have they considered bringing the PC to Best Buy's Geek Squad?
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    fyasko , October 8, 2011 11:26 PM
    hire REAL IT security people instead of using so called military IT experts...
  • 24 Hide
    cmartin011 , October 8, 2011 11:31 PM
    china having a good laugh at our military now
  • -6 Hide
    guardianangel42 , October 8, 2011 11:45 PM
    Lutfijhmm - i smell another attack from anonymous


    God I hope so. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing an arogant entity shown the real world.

    Anonymous likes to think they can take on the world, but they have no idea. The resources of nation states that aren't being heavily sanctioned economically are not something to trifle with.

    Stick to corporations and learn from Japan little ones, you're lives will be so much easier.
  • 17 Hide
    ltdementhial , October 9, 2011 12:10 AM
    it's Skynet! we are doomed!
  • 9 Hide
    southernshark , October 9, 2011 12:55 AM
    Skynet is the virus......
  • 10 Hide
    lashabane , October 9, 2011 12:55 AM
    A virus targeting Predator and Reaper drones. Can we call it the Reaper Virus?
  • 8 Hide
    offerings12 , October 9, 2011 1:07 AM
    combofix.exe
  • 11 Hide
    aftcomet , October 9, 2011 1:10 AM
    I really hope the Military invests the majority of their resources into security. Especially considering in the near future our Fighter Pilots will be sitting in a booth controlling the aircraft remotely. Someone could break into the system and attack the whole nation with their own weapons. Scary thought.
  • 19 Hide
    tokencode , October 9, 2011 1:21 AM
    Is our military really this terrible? If your remote vehicle control system with guided missles is infected with a virus, YOU STOP USING IT. If it can log keystrokes, I'm sure it can insert them into the keyboard buffer potentially. They can't figure out how to remove a virus? How do you know this thing can't recieve a different payload? This country that our military has such incompentent security "experts" for the amount of money spent on our defense infrastructure. Have they considered bringing the PC to Best Buy's Geek Squad?
  • 4 Hide
    jhansonxi , October 9, 2011 1:41 AM
    Windows and missiles don't mix (and yes, it's a Windows virus).
  • 0 Hide
    jdwii , October 9, 2011 2:00 AM
    Come on U.S beat these Hoe's down! I wish this country had the best TECH in the world.
  • 4 Hide
    kcorp2003 , October 9, 2011 2:34 AM
    dammit its the MACHINES! SKYNET IS REAL! JUDGEMENT DAY FOOLS!

    RISE AGAINST THE MACHINES BEFORE ITS TOO LATE.
  • 5 Hide
    itserenity , October 9, 2011 2:38 AM
    I am willing to remove the mal-ware permanently at no charge.

    If you could just pass my contact information along.
  • 6 Hide
    thesnappyfingers , October 9, 2011 2:49 AM
    time to reformat the windows.
  • 5 Hide
    dontknownotsure , October 9, 2011 3:22 AM
    install nod32 on drones
  • 13 Hide
    neonneophyte , October 9, 2011 3:29 AM
    they found the virus, not how it got there. of course its going to come back
  • 5 Hide
    gnookergi , October 9, 2011 4:01 AM
    cmartin011china having a good laugh at our military now


    If they're laughing at the US, then they must be really laughing at their own.
  • 4 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , October 9, 2011 4:10 AM
    I wonder if Anon has anything to do with this.
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