Targeted Killing

Air Force Network Administrators Learned About the Drone Virus from Wired Magazine [Updated]

By Alan Z. Rozenshtein
Thursday, October 13, 2011, 9:37 AM

Jack highlighted a Wired story last week about a computer virus infecting the Air Force's drone fleet, including the virtual "cockpits" at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. Wired reported on Tuesday that no one at Creech told the Air Force's network administrators of the infection for two weeks. Instead, technicians at the base attempted to deal with the problem on their own, and the Air Force's top cybersecurity officials only learned about the problem when they read the initial story. Wired attributes this episode to the lack of centralized Air Force network oversight, which leads to "[e]ach base and each unit in the Air Force ha[ving] its own geek squad."

Update: Wired is now reporting that “the Air Force insisted that the malware was 'more of a nuisance than an operational threat,' and that the ability of drone pilots to remotely fly the aircraft from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada 'remained secure throughout the incident.'"