Virus Infects US Drones

Predator DroneWired is reporting that a virus has infected the flight systems controlling the Predator and Reaper drone aircraft in the Middle East. The systems have been infected for about two weeks and it appears to be a keylogger-type of virus. Further, the virus has resisted attempts to disinfect the system but the military think it’s benign.

You can read the full article yourself, but as an IT professional I read it with utter horror and dismay. Here we have a (potentially) armed aircraft apparently still operating with an unknown virus in its systems. Does this ring alarm bells for anyone else?

I work in a public sector organisation and our approach to a PC with a virus infection is to pull the plug on the infected equipment and disconnect it from the network until we are able to clean the PC, regardless of whether we think its benign or otherwise. We’re concerned that data might be wiped out. You’d think that the military might have concerns about people being wiped out by a malfunctioning drone but apparently not.

And then there’s the question of how the system came to be infected. Again there seems to be a remarkable lack of knowledge. No doubt we’ll find that the USB ports were unlocked, there was no antivirus software and anybody could plug in a memory stick at will.

Looks like there’s a market opportunity for an AV company…