Print 9 comment(s) - last by mitchebk.. on Oct 11 at 1:08 PM

A US military base found a keylogger on their network specifically targeting UAVs

The U.S. military expects unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to have a greater role in future military operations, but there are still obvious issues that need to be addressed.  One such issue is the security of UAVs that rely on computer-controlled operations that may be compromised by skilled criminals and foreign governments.

A virus was found by the Host-Based Security System on computers used in Nevada at the Creech Air Force Base.  In particular, the virus remotely logged keystrokes of computers used by pilots controlling Predator and Reaper UAVs conducting missions in Afghanistan.

"We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back," an anonymous source noted.  "We think it's benign.  But we just don't know."

Creech senior officers are now receiving daily briefings regarding the computer virus, but operations appear to be business as usual.

Both Predator and Reaper drones are actively flying in the Middle East, and there are no immediate plans to ground the unmanned fleet until the issue is resolved.

It's unknown if this reported keylogger was intentionally placed on the computer network, but it's an extremely serious matter.  There is hopeful optimism that the relatively common keylogger was simply accidentally placed on the network -- but that also is an issue that must be appropriately addressed.

Meanwhile, the British Royal Air Force and other nations with growing UAV fleets also are monitoring cyber issues that the U.S. military must deal with.

Benign or not, the keylogger remains grave concern for security experts worried that military experts and private contractors need to make improvements. 
Previous U.S. military documents warn of non-military, commercial computer parts purchased in Asia that shouldn't be used on military bases.  The ease in which USB flash drives and other external devices can be used on base -- while accessing the base's network -- has remained a problem. 

Sources: Wired, Military Times, Sky

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By symbiosys on 10/10/2011 2:52:43 AM , Rating: 3
I find myself writing the exact same comment as I have on various other similar topics.

Why the hell are these systems either a) Connected to the internet or b) USB thumb drive friendly?

RE: Ok...
By Master Kenobi on 10/10/2011 5:59:57 AM , Rating: 5
Most of them are not connected to the real internet. Thumb drives is another story, some are and some aren't. Likely some idiot had the keylogger on his thumb drive and plugged it into one of the systems they use. So while the keylogger is running it sure isn't reporting anything back to anybody which is why business as usual is being maintained.

More than likely some shithead has it on his iPod and everytime he plugs it in at work to "charge it" he is infecting the system.

RE: Ok...
By JediJeb on 10/10/2011 4:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
If someone could write a similar virus/keylogger to use the transmission system that sends signals to the drones to also transmit the logged data back to them, then that would be a serious threat.

Incorrect sourcing
By LordSegan on 10/10/2011 12:48:05 AM , Rating: 5
Um.. not trying to be an ass, but the quality of the journalism here is pretty low.

This article quotes an anonymous source that is ripped from the article.

That is plagiarism but some definitions. Writer and editor -- clean it up guys.

RE: Incorrect sourcing
By Samus on 10/10/11, Rating: -1
First thing that came to mind was
By FastEddieLB on 10/10/2011 4:13:43 AM , Rating: 2
SkyNet is the virus!

RE: First thing that came to mind was
By AMDftw on 10/10/2011 7:24:15 AM , Rating: 2
Lol damn a few hrs late.

Stay off...
By espaghetti on 10/10/2011 1:11:41 AM , Rating: 3
the pr0n.

Knock-off H/W
By mitchebk on 10/11/2011 1:08:27 PM , Rating: 2
Are they using a certain brand of router that has been allegedly shown to be riddled with "improvements" added by a far east nation-state?

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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