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Summary: Deadly drones that depend on Windows become victims of intrusion and potentially control from the outside
DESPITE what Bristol might laughably claim, Microsoft is just about as bad as one can do for security and the monthly reminder (those numbers are fake by the way) should not be ignored. Patches aside, many news sites say that a Windows virus has hit the drone fleet of the US army. There’s a comforting thought, eh? With rockets on board, crackers can play war plane simulator with a real miniature (but well armed) plane. People have rightly started asking, why not just use Linux? One blogger writes: “Because the level of skill required to crack a Unix-like OS is much higher than that needed for a Microsoft OS. Further, properly configured Unix-like systems are much more robust than Microsoft systems. Were Military forces using properly configured and properly secured Unix or Linux systems we would not see items like these below being reported.
“”I just had a, “What were they thinking?!”, moment while reading this article at ars technica: Computer virus hits US Predator and Reaper drone fleet. First, it is not a “computer virus”, it is a Microsoft operating system virus. Second, using Microsoft operating systems for any critical Military computer systems is just wrong. I know the US Military has specifications for rugged computer systems that must be made in the USA. That makes sense. What does not make sense is the fact that the US Military will accept Microsoft operating systems on its critical, sensitive hardware at this date in time. That is like specifying a bank vault that can withstand a nearby nuclear blast, but allowing the builder to install a screen door for access to the vault. It is just a Bad Idea!””
Here is another report about it. Wired says that “Military network security specialists aren’t sure whether the virus and its so-called “keylogger” payload were introduced intentionally or by accident; it may be a common piece of malware that just happened to make its way into these sensitive networks. The specialists don’t know exactly how far the virus has spread. But they’re sure that the infection has hit both classified and unclassified machines at Creech. That raises the possibility, at least, that secret data may have been captured by the keylogger, and then transmitted over the public internet to someone outside the military chain of command.”
Not so reassuring.
Drone issues such as this are just another reminder amongst other incidents that we mentioned before — incidents where the US military is put at risk because of Windows . To quote Microsoft’s Allchin, “It is no exaggeration to say that the national security is also implicated by the efforts of hackers to break into computing networks. Computers, including many running Windows operating systems, are used throughout the United States Department of Defense and by the armed forces of the United States in Afghanistan and elsewhere.”
“Microsoft Appears to Have Blacklisted Oxford University” says another report, showing us what Microsoft “security” really is achieving:
Microsoft’s motives for action is unknown, Oxford’s semester is about to start
We received word from Oxford University in the UK today that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has blacklisted the campus for unknown reasons.
The reasons are actually known. Microsoft is too incompetent or arrogant to implement security properly. █