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

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  • Wanooski

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

  • Anarchy Pony

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • Redacted

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • GoodDoktorBad

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

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    This.. is… hilarious

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    This.. is… hilarious

    • JaceD

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • Ron Paul

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

  • Ron Paul

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

  • Tyler Durden

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

  • Tyler Durden

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

  • Hadrian999

    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
     

  • Hadrian999

    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
     

  • Xxistance

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

    • Nuggett

      My thoughts exactly.

  • Xxistance

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

  • http://twitter.com/funnyandspicy funnyandspicy

    Is it runs on Window ? 
    http://goo.gl/adR2I

  • http://twitter.com/funnyandspicy funnyandspicy

    Is it runs on Window ? 
    http://goo.gl/adR2I

  • Giojan

    Skynet id about to go live!

  • Giojan

    Skynet id about to go live!

  • BS

    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..

    • Tio Holtzman

      Which begs the question, why has this story leaked?

  • BS

    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..

  • Tio Holtzman

    Which begs the question, why has this story leaked?

  • http://www.zazzle.com/fantoccini* Gort

    It is not a virus.

    • Jamie Lee

      You KNOW this? 

  • http://www.zazzle.com/fantoccini* Gort

    It is not a virus.

  • iPINCH

    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

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

  • iPINCH

    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. 

  • Anonymous

     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

  • Nuggett

    My thoughts exactly.

  • Wanooski

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/agent139 Jamie Lee

    You KNOW this? 

  • shuyiang

    wow   this sounds really terrible and they must be careful.

  • Anonymous

    wow   this sounds really terrible and they must be careful.