Computer virus infects US military drone fleet: report
A computer virus has reportedly infected the US military drone fleet, Wired.com reported, citing three sources familiar with the matter.
The military’s Host Based Security System detected the virus two weeks ago, according to the news outlet, which added that it so far has not appeared to affect overseas missions by either interfering with pilots’ navigation or leaking classified information.
Network security specialists, however, tell Wired that the virus keeps returning to computers at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada despite repeated attempts to remove it.
“We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back,” a source familiar with the network infection said. “We think it’s benign. But we just don’t know.”
Specialists are reportedly still trying to determine if the virus is a so-called “keylogger” that could’ve been entered into the code either intentionally or by accident, or if it is run-of-the-mill malware that made its way into the system.
Those specialists, who are still investigating the reach of the virus, told Wired they believe it has infected both classified and unclassified systems at Creech Air Force Base.
If the virus is a keylogger, classified data could’ve been or eventually be logged and then leaked to an outside agent, according to the report.
Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, a spokesman for Air Combat Command, declined the news outlet’s request for comment, citing security protocols.
“We invest a lot in protecting and monitoring our systems to counter threats and ensure security, which includes a comprehensive response to viruses, worms, and other malware we discover,” Sholtis continued.