Reliable Security Information
Drone virus story craps out

Computer viruses/malware on US military networks are not remarkable. Ever since I wrote a book on computer viruses in 1994, so it has been. Some of them rise to newsworthiness. Most don't. But because Wired pushed the news of a virus on a computer network administering Predator drone missions out of Creech AFB in Nevada, a fairly nothing story went ... viral.

Every reporter who contacted me was working from a partial script that required they ask if this virus was a cyberattack from some other country. They have to do it.

And that's because the US press has been amply fertilized with manure-filled stories and claims about how cyberwar and malware pose existential threats to this country. Consequently, because these stories are titillating and guarantee eyeballs on the net, everything that's published in the area is viewed through the absurd lens of "Could it be cyberwar?"

The Creech drone virus, according to a report in a Las Vegas newspaper today, was a prosaic piece of random spyware aimed at stealing log-in information for on-line gaming. And it should not have risen to the level it did.

It's most distinguishing feature, then, was that it was a virus made famous through exposure by loose-lippers and gossips at Creech -- which operated Predators -- to Wired.

The Nevada newspaper called upon your host. And as a GlobalSecurity.Org Senior Fellow I explained to its military reporter that computer viruses on military networks have never been rare.

Which is what I've told others since the news first broke.

In e-mail to reporter Keith Rogers, I wrote: "The military is exposed in the same way as everyone else on the world network."

As a matter of context, DD remembers computer viruses being found on US military systems used in the Yugoslavia/Serbia, a computer virus on a space shuttle computer, and numerous viruses -- one infamous piece of malware infiltrated on a thumb drive -- on networked computers used in Afghanistan.

It's safe to say malware as well as spyware has probably been found wherever we have networked computers.

In other matters, some in the mainstream press are getting hip to the serious national security threats to the nation.

From Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone, in a piece on the Occupy Wall Street protests:

The so-called "Too Big to Fail" financial companies - now sometimes called by the more accurate term "Systemically Dangerous Institutions" - are a direct threat to national security.

To lighten your day, a humorous vids/tuneage on a well-publicized internal and systemic national security threat.

This post was initially published at Dick Destiny blog. Have something to say? Post it on the parent blog or e-mail webmaster at dickdestiny.

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