Computer Virus Hits U.S. Drone Fleet

MQ-9 ReaperAmazing story broken by Noah Shachtman on WIRED’s Danger Room:

A computer virus has infected the cockpits of America’s Predator and Reaper drones, logging pilots’ every keystroke as they remotely fly missions over Afghanistan and other warzones.

The virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military’s Host-Based Security System, has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying their missions overseas. Nor have there been any confirmed incidents of classified information being lost or sent to an outside source. But the virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech’s computers, network security specialists say. And the infection underscores the ongoing security risks in what has become the U.S. military’s most important weapons system.

“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.”

More from Noah Shachtman on WIRED’s Danger Room

39 Comments on "Computer Virus Hits U.S. Drone Fleet"

  1. Hmm, the sooner those death robots can’t keep blowing up weddings and funerals the better.

  2. Anarchy Pony | Oct 8, 2011 at 8:27 pm |

    Hmm, the sooner those death robots can’t keep blowing up weddings and funerals the better.

  3. Anonymous | Oct 9, 2011 at 12:40 am |

    Right, “virus” will be the cause when those drones start blowing up baseball stadiums.

  4. Redacted | Oct 8, 2011 at 8:40 pm |

    Right, “virus” will be the cause when those drones start blowing up baseball stadiums.

  5. Anonymous | Oct 9, 2011 at 1:37 am |

    It’s only a matter of time until these things get hijacked and “re purposed”. 

  6. GoodDoktorBad | Oct 8, 2011 at 9:37 pm |

    It’s only a matter of time until these things get hijacked and “re purposed”. 

  7. This.. is… hilarious

  8. This.. is… hilarious

    • Haha it is really too funny! I’m pleased that someone is trying to ruin the CIA’s new favourite toy!

  9. Anonymous | Oct 9, 2011 at 4:07 am |

    Haha it is really too funny! I’m pleased that someone is trying to ruin the CIA’s new favourite toy!

  10. Ron Paul | Oct 9, 2011 at 4:49 am |

    They must be running Windows ME on these drones… Fucking dumbasses.

  11. They must be running Windows ME on these drones… Fucking dumbasses.

  12. Tyler Durden | Oct 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm |

    “Don’t blame us. The virus made them do it!”

  13. Tyler Durden | Oct 9, 2011 at 9:16 am |

    “Don’t blame us. The virus made them do it!”

  14. Hadrian999 | Oct 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm |

    this is why those drones shouldn’t be given more autonomy, if someone made a virus that would change it’s parameters there would be all kinds of trouble
     

  15. Hadrian999 | Oct 9, 2011 at 10:19 am |

    this is why those drones shouldn’t be given more autonomy, if someone made a virus that would change it’s parameters there would be all kinds of trouble
     

  16. Xxistance | Oct 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm |

    Someone please explain to me how a key-stroker on a TS network is ‘benign’. 

  17. Xxistance | Oct 9, 2011 at 10:58 am |

    Someone please explain to me how a key-stroker on a TS network is ‘benign’. 

  18. Skynet id about to go live!

  19. Skynet id about to go live!

  20. so how long until a drone bombs or crashes into something and they blame the virus?  this story is complete bullshit.. if this were real, they would be highly embarrassed about it and would not tell anybody..

  21. so how long until a drone bombs or crashes into something and they blame the virus?  this story is complete bullshit.. if this were real, they would be highly embarrassed about it and would not tell anybody..

  22. Tio Holtzman | Oct 9, 2011 at 11:42 pm |

    Which begs the question, why has this story leaked?

  23. It is not a virus.

  24. It is not a virus.

  25. soon the gov will be crashing these into buildings and blaming it on terrorist viruses. Like that dumb ass a town over from me who wanted to crash model planes into various buildings and got caught by the FBI. 

  26. soon the gov will be crashing these into buildings and blaming it on terrorist viruses. Like that dumb ass a town over from me who wanted to crash model planes into various buildings and got caught by the FBI. 

    • Anarchy Pony | Oct 10, 2011 at 10:17 pm |

      You mean that guy who was convinced by FBI plants to do so and was essentially caught for buying the supplies from them?

  27. Anonymous | Oct 10, 2011 at 9:25 am |

     It is very Negative effect in the Operation of Drone Plane due to come of Computer Virus.

    http://www.myfreewaytraffic.com/forum/member.php?12656-Aaralyn

  28. My thoughts exactly.

  29. You mean that guy who was convinced by FBI plants to do so and was essentially caught for buying the supplies from them?

  30. You KNOW this? 

  31. Anonymous | Nov 12, 2011 at 9:20 am |

    wow   this sounds really terrible and they must be careful.

  32. wow   this sounds really terrible and they must be careful.

Comments are closed.