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US war drones keep flying despite computer virus

By Haris Afzal on Saturday, October 8, 2011 with 4 comments

US war drones keep flying despite computer virus
WASHINGTON: The US government's unmanned Predator and Reaper drones are continuing to fly remote missions overseas

despite a computer virus that has infected the plane's US based cockpits, according to one source familiar with the infection.

Government officials are still investigating whether the virus is benign, and how it managed to infect the heavily protected

computer systems at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, where US pilots remotely fly the planes on their missions over Iraq,

Afghanistan and elsewhere.

"Something is going on, but it has not had any impact on the missions overseas," said the source, who was not authorized to

speak publicly.

Armed tactical unmanned planes have become an increasingly valuable tool used by the US government to track and attack

individuals and small groups overseas, but the virus
underscores the vulnerability of such systems to attacks on the computer networks used to fly them from great distances.

Wired magazine first reported the virus infection on its website on Friday and said it was logging pilots' every keystroke as they

remotely flew missions over Afghanistan and
elsewhere.

Wired said the problem was first detected nearly two weeks ago by the US military's Host-Based Security System, but there

were no confirmed incidents of classified information
being lost or sent to an outside source.

The virus had resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech's computers, Wired said, quoting network security specialists.

The US military and intelligence communities have used Predator and Reaper drones, built by privately held General Atomics

in San Diego, to carry out increasingly precise attacks
on top Al Qaeda officials and other US targets in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.(Reuters)

Category: Latest , World News

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