Computer Virus Infects Air Force Predator and Reaper Drones


October 11, 2011

Computer Virus Infects Air Force Predator and Reaper Drones

A  mysterious computer virus has infected the fleet of the US Air Force  Predator and Reaper drones based out of Nevada’s Creech Air Force Base. The virus is capturing every keystroke made by the pilots who remotely control the drones flown on missions over Afghanistan and other war-zones.Technology experts at the Pentagon have been unable to eliminate the virus, according to Wired magazine, which reported the infection.

“We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back,” a source told the technology magazine. “We think it’s benign. But we just don’t know.” The infection underscores the ongoing security risks in what has become the U.S. military’s most important weapons system.

The Pentagon said the virus had not caused any of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to crash and the Predators and Reapers are still flying missions such as the air-strike over Yemen more than a week ago that killed the leading US-born al-Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki.

The US military is believed to have about 7,000 drones. They are light and easy to transport, there is no risk of losing a pilot’s life and they can stay in the air for long periods and over vast distances. They are also relatively cheap. In Pakistan, drones are believed to have killed more than 2,000 suspected militants and civilians in areas close to the Afghan border where not even the Pakistani military dares to send troops. In Yemen, the scene of the first US drone strike in 2002, they have been effective after leading Muslim clerics threatened to declare a jihad if foreign troops were deployed on their soil.

Publisher: Salient News


3 comments on “Computer Virus Infects Air Force Predator and Reaper Drones”

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