A common malware issue may have caused the recent issue with US Air Force drones, a little like a Mafia Wars games virus. In one respect you have to worry how could these assets come under such attack, but in another it is a relief that the malware wasn’t designed with just the intended target in mind. How embarrassing would it be if this were the case?
There is still cause for concern though, as the virus managed to infiltrate ground control systems, which are used to supple backup power, workstations and also environmental controls. However, NPR said that that’s not the worst of it; the common malware also studied user keystrokes to try and gather password details.
You may wonder what the virus has to do with the game mentioned above, well it seems as though it could originate from those who play the games like Mafia Wars. One would assume that these kinds of things could never happen, but when computer systems are involved anything can happen — no matter how tight you think that your firewall is.
The common malware in question is called Key Logger, and does what it says, logs a user’s keystrokes. If this kind of information were obtained by outside sources, then the consequences would be unimaginable, as they could even take control of a drone; just remember that many of these are armed and could cause a huge amount of devastation.
We expect that Air Force officials are now drilling those who were in control of these drones, and to ask why they had been playing games like Mafia Wars on the same system.