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American Drone Controls Experiencing Virus Assault Migrate to Linux

After the control systems of American military drones became contaminated with Windows USB viruses in 2011, there has been a shift of these control systems to adopting Linux operating system, published TheRegister on January 12, 2012.

To demonstrate how the shift occurred, Chief Research Officer Mikko Hypponen of F-Secure published images displaying a computer from 2009, controlling US military spy drones that apparently featured a pictorial user-interface of Windows. Hypponen then made a comparison as he published a non-categorized slide culled from certain 2010 set-of-instructions, which explained that an upgrade in 2011 involved adapting to Linux that most suited the drone control PCs as well as which featured yet another distinct pictorial user-interface.

The instructions further indicated that the ground control computers were different from the Air Force pilots' flight control PCs that helped them with remote-flying of their aircrafts. Consequently, they experienced protected flying of such aircrafts all through the while, the briefing explained. TheRegister published this.

Moreover, according to the statement of the US Air Force, the malicious software became evident on an unconnected network, supporting the attack mission, while it utilized the Windows OS. The software stole credentials rather than read keystrokes while it was regularly discovered on PC-networks, as well as acted more like an annoyance instead of an operational danger. Also, it wasn't created for transmitting video or data, neither did it corrupt files, data else applications of the contaminated systems. Fortunately, the malware got detected with programs and processors immediately when it became visible on the computers, the statement reported.

Additionally, as per the Air Force, the contaminated PCs belonged to a control mechanism on the ground utilized for commanding unmanned aircrafts, though the malicious software didn't ever contaminate the PCs controlling the aircrafts' flying. Besides, the protection of those latter PCs was through 'air gap' maintenance so the systems weren't ever taken online.

Eventually, it was advised to the drone units that they stop utilizing detachable drives towards warding off another virus attack, while in the background, as per Hypponen's postings, a few consoles were migrated to Linux the open-source OS from the Microsoft Windows.

Related article: American College of Physicians’ Website Hacked by North Carolina Businessman

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