U.S. Military Facing a Battle Unlike Any Other

Like something out of a science fiction movie, the U.S. Military has been battling not only terrorists but also a new modern age menace, computer viruses hitting their high tech drone fleet.

The drones, used for surveillance and delivering fatal blows to terrorist masterminds like done recently with  Anwar Alawaki who was hiding out in Yemen.  The drones are now feared by enemies and criminals worldwide due to their stealth and lethal accuracy.  Guided by satellites and jets, the computer software and hardware as well as their aeronautic engineering makes the the state of the art killing machines that sci-fi authors had predicted years ago.

Now the cockpits of the Predator and Reaper drones have a virus that seems to be similar to the keystroke logging software viruses that often hit regular folks.  These viruses record the keystrokes one uses so that thieves and hackers can capture passwords and commands so they can do their sinister deeds.

The security experts on the job so far say they’ve wiped hard drives but the viruses are still there.  Anyone familiar with viruses knows what’s going on here.  If you wipe a harddrive, reformat it any viruses and such should be gone.  The only way these viruses are still there are because the viruses originate on source material the drones are programmed from.  The viruses don’t start with the drones, they’re put in there or, once initiated the drones connect to databases where command signals to the drones send the viruses.

The experts aren’t that worried about the viruses yet as the drones seem to be doing their jobs but the issue does raise some concern about the safety and integrity of the drone fleet.  What if some criminal were trying to take command of a drone and steer it to some vulnerable target?  How about controlling the drone so that it lands at a spot where criminals can back engineer it?

These are all concerns of the military brass and a good concerns no doubt.  Just one of these drones in the hands of those of ill will could spell disastrous to targets around the world.  Cheap or effective knock offs could be deployed from anywhere and deliver horrific payloads such as pathogens, explosives, and radioactive materials.

The hunt is on to find out whom the hackers are and secure them before real harm is done.

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Posted by on Oct 7 2011. Filed under New, Opinion, Sci/Tech. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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