Conflict & Justice

Computer virus attacks US drones


The Reaper is the Air Force's first "hunter-killer" unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and is designed to engage time-sensitive targets on the battlefield as well as provide intelligence and surveillance.


Ethan Miller

A computer virus has spread into the cockpits of US Predator and Reaper drones, reports Wired Magazine's Danger Room blog.

The virus, was first detected two weeks ago by the military. It logs pilot's keystroke as they fly remotely over Afghanistan and other war zones to complete combat and surveillance missions. 

According to sources in military, reports TG Daily, the virus hasn't managed to compromise classified information. 

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The virus has not affected the pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from executing their missions overseas, reports Wired. There have also not been any incidents of classified information being lost, or misspent. However, the virus has resisted efforts by the military to have it removed. 

"We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back," said one of the three sources that spoke to Wired. "We think it's benign. But we just don't know." 

Network security aren't positive about how the virus originated, whether it was intentional, or accidental. According to Wired, military network specialists believe there's a chance it's a a piece of malware that made its way into the military's network. The specialists don't exactly know how far the virus has reached, but they believe it probably hit classified and unclassified machines. 

"It's getting a lot of attention," said a source. "But no one's panicking. Yet."

And senior officers at Creech are being briefed on the virus daily.  

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