Computer Virus Disrupts Operation of French Fighter Jets

A virus that infected Franch defense computers containing military data resulted in non-operation of some fighter jets belonging to the country's navy for two full days in January 2009, said Jerome Erulin, a Navy Spokesman, as reported by MarketWatch on February 7, 2009.

According to Erulin, although the security breach was not of a large-scale, it did not allow the aircraft to access its flight plans.

As per the reports, the data hack was the result of French military's neglect of Microsoft's alert saying that the malicious Conficker worm was spreading through Windows operating software and attacking computer systems. The military was also not deploying the necessary security measures.

Some members of the naval staff said that it was more of negligence than a purposeful attempt to weaken the French national security. The officers also stated that the Navy suspected an employee to have inserted an infected USB stick into one of the systems.

Moreover, a news published by Quest France, a French newspaper, reported that the virus attacked the internal network of computers at the French Navy. The attack was discovered on January 21, 2009 and hit the unprotected internal network of French Navy known as Intramar.

According to Erulin, the breach disrupted receipt and transmission of information; however, there was no theft of any information, as the Navy had an experience with a simulated problem.

Besides, reports from Liberation newspaper state that after two days of the attack, chiefs of the French Military Forces resolved to separate Intramar from the remaining computer systems of the military, however, certain systems in the 8th Transmissions Regiment and at the Villacoublay air base were already infected.

Liberation reported that at the time of the attack's discovery, chiefs of the French military forces and the ministry of defense did not know how many computers containing military information got infected with the virus, as reported by Telegraph.co.uk on February 7, 2009.

Meanwhile, in similar news, Ministry of Defence, UK, had suffered from a Conficker attack that had disabled some of its systems in early January 2009.

Related article: Computer Virus Writers Adopt New Strategy

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