Computer virus found on CIA’s Predator drone remote-control system

Predator drone

Predator drone

The remote control cockpits of the US Central Intelligence Agency’s Predator drones have been infected by a potentially disastrous computer virus, which surreptitiously records every keystroke made by the pilots. Wired magazine’s Danger Room blog, which aired the exclusive report, said that the virus was discovered by the US Pentagon’s network security specialists less than two weeks ago. It also said that the virus has successfully resisted “multiple efforts” to remove it from the computers that guide the remote-controlled missions of the Agency’s unmanned drones. The blog cited a Pentagon computer specialist, who claims that he and his network security team “keep wiping it off and it keeps coming back”. The specialist also said that it is unclear at the present stage whether the computer virus is malicious or benign, in terms of its security implications. It also remains unknown whether the virus was introduced to the system intentionally or by accident, and how far it has spread into the system. It has been confirmed that the primary task of the virus is keylogging —recording all keystrokes made by users. But nobody at the Pentagon seems to know what happens to the keylogged data —that is, whether it remains within the Predator drone computer system, or whether it is clandestinely transmitted to individuals located outside the US military’s chain of command. The Wired report notes that there have been no reports of incidents relating to compromised information as a result of the keylogging virus. Moreover, the discovery of the virus has not interrupted the frequent missions of the drones, which are now routinely used by the United States in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya, among other places. This is not the first time that the quality of the software behind the CIA’s Predator drone program has been questioned. Last year, a Boston-based software company, accused the CIA of unlawfully using proprietary coding, purchased through a third party. The company, IISi, also claimed that the pirated coding was in fact defective, and that the CIA runs the risk of its unmanned Predator drone strikes “being off by about 40 feet”.

2 Responses to Computer virus found on CIA’s Predator drone remote-control system

  1. Kidd says:

    whom ever the culprit be, are in the early stages of testing, then will move towards being able to change commands and anyone’s guess where these drones could be highjacked . i had something drill down into my registry , which enabled to virus to redirect me to a page i cared not to view. had to clean the hard drive completely to get rid of it. this virus infecting the drones, will soon be able to redirect to another location or target . the achilles heel lives

  2. Carl Clark says:

    The virus seems to be the “eternal virus”, it replicates itself each time you remove it there is no way to get rid of it, that is the key to the virus in the removing of it.

    There is only one group who could have done this and they are based in Germany and Holland, an offshoot of a very good hacking group, who threatened to hit the illegal killings of civilians, which it looks like they have done successfully.

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