American Drones Are Infected with a Computer Virus

Wired reports every keystroke typed by drone pilots is being recorded

This article is from the archive of our partner .

A virus has infected America's drone fleet, Wired's Noah Shachtman reports. It logs every keystroke operators type from their base in Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, but that hasn't halted their missions. Though the military hasn't found any incidents of the virus sending information to an outside source, they haven't been able to get rid of it. Shachtman explains:

"We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back," says a source familiar with the network infection, one of three that told Danger Room about the virus. "We think it's benign. But we just don't know."
Military network security specialists aren't sure whether the virus and its so-called "keylogger" payload were introduced intentionally or by accident; it may be a common piece of malware that just happened to make its way into these sensitive networks. The specialists don't know exactly how far the virus has spread. But they’re sure that the infection has hit both classified and unclassified machines at Creech. 

The U.S. has increasingly relied on drones to carry out the war on terror in Afghanistan in recent years. Al Qaeda YouTube preacher Anwar al-Awlaki was killed last month by a drone strike in Yemen.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.