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Air Force Comments On Drone Malware

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the nothing-to-see-here-citizen dept.

Security 74

wiredmikey writes "Air Force officials have revealed more details about a malware infection that impacted systems used to manage a fleet of drones at the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada as reported last week. The 24th Air Force first detected the malware – which they characterized as a 'credential stealer' as opposed to a keylogger as originally reported — and notified Creech Air Force Base officials Sept. 15 that malware was found on portable hard drives approved for transferring information between systems. The infected computers were part of the ground control system that supports remotely-piloted aircraft (RPA) operations. The malware is not designed to transmit data or video or corrupt any files, programs or data, according to the Air Force. The ground system is separate from the flight control system used by RPA pilots to fly the aircrafts."

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Haqqani (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 3 years ago | (#37710480)

I wonder if he was told he won the Slobobvian Lottery before he was hit.

Re:Haqqani (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710732)

Slobobvian? Sounds like a good name for those fatarse Americans.

Re:Haqqani (0)

mjwx (966435) | about 3 years ago | (#37712178)

I wonder if he was told he won the Slobobvian Lottery before he was hit.

So there is an entire country for Slobs and the have a lottery?

Why is this only being posted on /. now?

Re:Haqqani (1)

Ozmodium (1395791) | about 3 years ago | (#37715130)

At first I thought you were referring to the 80's movie Making The Grade "Exchange student from Lower Slobivia," but then stumbled upon the fact that Slobovia is used as a reference to any "non specific, far-away country." Wikipedia on Slobovia []

Re:Haqqani (1)

Archwyrm (670653) | about 3 years ago | (#37719114)

Slobovia is somewhere near BFE if I recall my geography correctly.

Possible typo. (4, Informative)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 3 years ago | (#37710508)

A "feet of drones" is the proper collective noun only when they're on the ground. In the air they're known as a "bungle".

Re:Possible typo. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710526)

mod parent "informative"

Re:Possible typo. (1, Informative)

Soulskill (1459) | about 3 years ago | (#37710640)

Fixed. Thanks for keeping us on our toes.

Re:Possible typo. (1)

oursland (1898514) | about 3 years ago | (#37720254)

A "feet of drones"

Fixed. Thanks for keeping us on our toes.

I see what you did there!

Re:Possible typo. (-1, Offtopic)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 years ago | (#37710894)

A true Slashdotter is not permitted to admire Apple due to an incompatabilitiy between the GPL and Apple's "walled garden."

Sorry. Turn in your Mac for a Debian box.

Re:Possible typo. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710900)

What about The Coca-Cola Company and Frito-Lay?

Re:Possible typo. (0, Offtopic)

mjwx (966435) | about 3 years ago | (#37712218)

A true Slashdotter is not permitted to admire Apple due to an incompatabilitiy between the GPL and Apple's "walled garden."

Sorry. Turn in your Mac for a Debian box.

Good idea, wrong thread.

Here is where we're supposed to bash the US Air Force.

Re:Possible typo. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#37714636)

A "feet of drones" is the proper collective noun only when they're on the ground. In the air they're known as a "bungle".

Prior Art!

A 'bungle' is a large group of politicians in flight from reality.

Re:Possible typo. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#37714652)

Although, thinking about it a bit further, a bunch of drones in the air and the aforesaid flight of politicians are pretty similar concepts.

Carry on!

Android (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710520)

The drones must be running Android

Checks out (1)

gadzook33 (740455) | about 3 years ago | (#37710538)

Yeah, this makes much more sense. Didn't stop everyone from reporting that the drone fleet was infected with viruses when this first broke. I could be wrong but I'm fairly sure the Predator isn't running Windows 98 (or god help us all). I think those of us with some sense were wondering when the real story was going to break.

Re:Checks out (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710572)

The drone itself may not be running a standard OS, but it's entirely possible that part of the flight control system might. More critical systems have been built atop Windows platforms before, and the DoD doesn't have a particularly good record with computer-related sensibilities, see: How all .mil domains are digitally signed by a CA that no web browser (including those on DoD computers) recognizes as legitimate.

Question! (4, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 3 years ago | (#37710654)

If a drone running Windows 98 is destroyed, is it okay to re-use the license key on a new one?

Re:Question! (1)

atisss (1661313) | about 3 years ago | (#37714066)

It will hang into BSOD (Blue Sky Of Death) and stay in the air forever, so it will technically still be running licensed version, so - no.

Re:Question! (2)

codepigeon (1202896) | about 3 years ago | (#37715582)

Yes, but you still have to call the 1-800 number in india and let them know you don't have in installed on more than on drone in your household.

Re:Checks out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710688)

It's not Windows 98... it's a hacked up version of Windows 3.1

The air force is fucking scary.

Re:Checks out (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37711696)

yeah the usaf wouldn't lie to the population.

Re:Checks out (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#37716372)

Windows autorun strikes again. To nobody's great surprise.

Interesting description (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710552)

What kind of 'credential stealer' doesn't transmit data? Is it even stolen if not transmitted? Is this a DRM definition of 'stealing' that means copying?

Not that the Air Force isn't duty-bound to lie about this to reduce the escaping media Signal to safe Noise. I'm just wondering if there's a way their bedtime tale could make sense.

Re:Interesting description (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37710696)

Theoretically, it might require somebody to come back and collect it. Which is necessary in cases where there is a proper air gap even though it greatly increases the risk of being caught.

Headline... (-1)

Jim3535 (903233) | about 3 years ago | (#37710574)

Did anyone else read that headline as "Airforce Drone Comments on Malware"?

Re:Headline... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710690)

Not anyone sober...

Re:Headline... (0)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37710700)

I think they're usually called "officer."

Does this suggest (3, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37710576)

malware was found on portable hard drives approved for transferring information between systems.

Does that suggest that someone forgot to turn off auto-run? Or was it really only on the hard drive, and never actually infected the controlling computers?

Re:Does this suggest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37714430)

Posting AC to cover my ass...

        What do you mean, "forgot to turn off"? Our company IT group forces it to be on regardless. I keep turning it off and they run a script every so often to check the status and turn it back on.

"Resistenz is the futility" (0)

Gimbal (2474818) | about 3 years ago | (#37710646)

{Insert oblig. Borg reference, mutated for originality}

All Your Bots Are Belong To Bob - Anon.

Latest in AV Software... (1)

scalarscience (961494) | about 3 years ago | (#37710722)

My favorite quote from the article [] : “We continue to strengthen our cyber defenses, using the latest anti-virus software and other methods to protect Air Force resources and assure our ability to execute Air Force missions,” Cook said in a statement. “Continued education and training of all users will also help reduce the threat of malware to Department of Defense systems.” Why do I get the feeling that Norton/McAffee are offering their 'latest anti-virus software" to "strengthen our cyber defenses"...which will inevitably lead to a 2-4 year staged upgrade of all systems to bring them back up to their 'speeds' before they were "strengthened"..while software from ESET, VIPRE & AVAST are only found on the laptops of off duty personnel that have a clue. Given that DARPA sort of kickstarted this whole thing we're using these days you might think there'd be some military-grade software in use but I've yet to see any hint of that in any of the 'cybersecurity' discussions that find their way into our shared discussions on the 'tubes'.

Re:Latest in AV Software... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37711870)

99% of the usage is broken and misunderstood. I'd say that only 1% of the populace actually understand security, and a diminished number actually take steps to placate the problem. When I hear that someone thinks that sticky plaster Anti Virus - will be like a hand barrier cream I cringe. This is the nation state that had a hand in Stuxnet.

Apparently, the air force has deduced that they understand this malware, and its just a password stealer for online games. So that's alright then. /SARCASM/ off.

I work in the control industry. A lot of systems start of with a design where air locks exist between them and the outer world. An assumtion is then made that this air-lock ends up being the protective mechanic between a quiet good network, and the big bad world. In most cases these air-locks become open door disasters, and invariably the way the world works actually moves against air-locking anyway. You invariably over a life cycle have to bring in new systems, and these have a chnaged support cycle compared to older systems. Newer windows systems require some form of upgrade path for support packs, and you can bet that along the way, the bean counters will have brought in some IT company to 'vnc in and look after the servers'. Oh - I know, I'm generalising, but you get the point.

We live in the cyber war age. Nation states, and adversary forces that are not nation states both exist and operate. Its far fetched to imagine that you could in effect have a system where your own airforce gets turned. But in reality - it may be far fetched to imagine this, footprinting, access, execution. At the least it opens up the discussion that your AIR could be downed, dossed, sabotaged. And given the large scale move from pilot driven to drome forces, this story and its background should be one that quietly requires serious thought and consideration.

Basically, technolony allows you to in essense easily do something. Thats the benefit. The downside is its not just you who gets to do this if you get your security and access wrong. And I imagine the chinese have taken a great interest in this story, and its intelligence value.

It also underlines a fact I have known for years. Senior staff, officials, managers the political classes and military staff don't understand the technology at all.


They don't see the irony either... (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 3 years ago | (#37712754)

"It also underlines a fact I have known for years. Senior staff, officials, managers the political classes and military staff don't understand the technology at all." []
"Military robots like drones are ironic because they are created essentially to force humans to work like robots in an industrialized social order. Why not just create industrial robots to do the work instead? ... There is a fundamental mismatch between 21st century reality and 20th century security thinking. Those "security" agencies are using those tools of abundance, cooperation, and sharing mainly from a mindset of scarcity, competition, and secrecy. Given the power of 21st century technology as an amplifier (including as weapons of mass destruction), a scarcity-based approach to using such technology ultimately is just making us all insecure. Such powerful technologies of abundance, designed, organized, and used from a mindset of scarcity could well ironically doom us all whether through military robots, nukes, plagues, propaganda, or whatever else... Or alternatively, as Bucky Fuller and others have suggested, we could use such technologies to build a world that is abundant and secure for all."

Defense is the new Enterprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37712386)


Drone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37710776)

Something very bad just happened. I just know it. Do you smell smoke?

Damage control? (1)

SharpFang (651121) | about 3 years ago | (#37710840)

Sounds an awful lot like media damage control to me. Downplaying the scale of the failure and misinforming the public once the full scale has became known and the utter mind-boggling disaster it was has became apparent. So far it was "We've got an embarassing problems", and now it became "If the press learns of the full scale, heads will fall like rain."

Re:Damage control? (1)

Sepodati (746220) | about 3 years ago | (#37714658)

Sounds like you wouldn't believe any explanation that doesn't fit your theory of what happened.

Jumping the meat barrier. (1)

BenJCarter (902199) | about 3 years ago | (#37710874)

Quite sophisticated. Found "on hard drives approved for transferring information between systems". I'm sure it's harmless though. No doubt the pilots surfing Facebook use a different code to log into the kill drones flying above our troops...right?

Re:Jumping the meat barrier. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37712656)

Of course!!! These are professionals!

For Facebook, they use "123456". For weapon systems, they use "princess". Or "Princess1" to satisfy the new Draconian password policy.

Whitewash (3, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about 3 years ago | (#37710950)

The implication is apparently that since it was only the ground control system, not the flight control system, there was no danger of the aircraft control being compromised. This is false. The ground control system is in fact in complete control of the aircraft, if it so chooses. The bottom line is, somebody should be put in the brig for allow Windows anywhere near a UAV.

Re:Whitewash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37711680)

The implication is apparently that since it was only the ground control system, not the flight control system, there was no danger of the aircraft control being compromised. This is false. The ground control system is in fact in complete control of the aircraft, if it so chooses. The bottom line is, somebody should be put in the brig for allow Windows anywhere near a UAV.

Windows operating system is speculation. Regardless there is an airgap between these networks and the internet. We should assume this network was targeted, ask Iran how effective an airgap was in the big picture. If even after formating and clean installs the virus is still there, this is something that is not trivial as common malware apparently. This virus has the components needed for a successful attack; time, motivation and resources. It would also be arrogant to say simply switching operating systems will magically fix their problems. Are you willing to port all the custom software to a new platform? We can not compare the U.S. militaries outsourced email fiasco with a system made not for hundreds of thousands but hundreds by a completly diffrent vendor. Lastly, some of these drones have IR cameras that can cllearly identify bodies within a household. Even if I personaly do not agree with every choice and resolution passed, does not mean I am not concerned with a rouge individual/group/state gaining access and possibly control of dangerious, military assets. /rant


Re:Whitewash (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about 3 years ago | (#37736198)

It would also be arrogant to say simply switching operating systems will magically fix their problems.

Even more arrogant to deny that it would be a good start.

Re:Whitewash (4, Insightful)

Kaedrin (709478) | about 3 years ago | (#37711716)

Wrong. Someone does however need to explain why systems like this don't have SRP (Software Restriction Policies) or AppLocker Policies enabled with a ridged white listing rule set.

Servers/Drones/etc like these should NEVER allow any account permission to run non-whitelisted applications. The fact is, barely any code should be allowed to execute, and itâ(TM)s completely inexcusable for them to not be using the whitelisting rules that are part of Windows/Active Directory. In an environment like this where there are ridged policies for doing practically anything related to production software, preventing rogue code execution should be mind boggling easy for one moderately skilled administrator.

Re:Whitewash (1, Troll)

zero0ne (1309517) | about 3 years ago | (#37712536)

The real question is how can someone build drone piloting software that actually works well on Windows?

I just don't see any type of Windows platform offering the kind of precision & computing speed needed to control a UAV 100 to 10,000 miles away.

Seems like something you would want done in the fastest language available, not some hodgepodge of .NET & Silverlight.
(I think I just threw up in my mouth a little)

Re:Whitewash (1)

merky1 (83978) | about 3 years ago | (#37712718)

If you RTFA, you would have determined that the flight control system is not infected, and the the systems that are in question are ancillary information systems. Think of a monitor with google maps...

The reason they use removable HDD's is probably so they can model the necessary mission data offsite, and then "replay" it at mission time.

Re:Whitewash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37713184)

The reason they use removable HDDs is because classified systems often require the drives to be removed and put in a safe when unattended.

Re:Whitewash (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37714528)

I just don't see any type of Windows platform offering the kind of precision & computing speed needed to control a UAV 100 to 10,000 miles away.

Do you know anything about Windows programming, or even Windows itself?

Re:Whitewash (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37714732)

I remember reading somewhere that the latency is actually huge, something like 15-30 seconds (they are controlled from Nevada, after all). The AUVs do most of the flying themselves, and the people in Nevada tell them "go here" "go there" and "fire missile at that target." Then for takeoff and landing control is passed to someone onsite from the Middle East who has better latency.

Re:Whitewash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37716392)

Try more like 1.5seconds, and about .2seconds or less while landing/taking off.

Re:Whitewash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37720358)

Do you have any idea how many hundreds of millions of dollars GA will charge the government to make that change and complete the delta airworthiness certification? It's not nearly as simple as you think. It's probably easier to start from scratch and build a new ground station from the bottom up. You've got to have tracability for every line of code. It's a non-trivial problem.

Re:Whitewash (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about 3 years ago | (#37736184)

Or just don't let Windows anywhere near deadly weapons, how about. Never has been secure, never will be, not in any real, shipping form, except according to cynical apologists with their hands in the cookie jar.

Re:Whitewash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37713000)

The part of the pred/reaper system that is on the ground is indeed referred to as the "Ground Control System", however, there are different sets of computers, some of which are involved in flying the plane, and some of which are used to analyze the take from the sensors.

Re:Whitewash (1)

Ibiwan (763664) | about 3 years ago | (#37724226)

They're still using awkward wording. Neither the computer on the plane nor the computer the pilot is sitting in front of runs Windows. In the same trailer, there are also several machines used for data analysis that DO run Windows, and are the only place this malware (virus? worm? trojan? I never could keep them straight) could possible have taken hold. Also, the "credentials" in question are video game registration keys. Good luck finding many of those on these workstations!

angela (-1)

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Re:angela (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37712402)

hey, look, the drone is trying to communicate

This virus can't be a thread with no Internet. (1)

satuon (1822492) | about 3 years ago | (#37711092)

If the computers are really not connected to the Internet as I had read from the earlier articles, the virus can't send any information it captures nor can it receive commands. At most it could format their hard drive.

Re:This virus can't be a thread with no Internet. (1)

iive (721743) | about 3 years ago | (#37712502)

Have you forgotten about Stuxnet?
That virus was designed to sabotage industrial equipment that was not connected to internet. It was designed to propagate though removable drives and local networks. And Stuxnet did reach its target and sabotaged it successfully without even causing suspicion.

Imagine that the Chinese/Russians modify Stuxnet (I've read it is quite modular) to infiltrate the UAV control. Imagine that they add module that activates only when the drone enters GPS coordinates of China/Russia. This module could do a number of nasty things. Turning on active radar, so that the drone would shine like a super nova on the radar. Increase the chance of drone crashing. Introduce slight error in missile target coordinates and always hit few hundred feet off the target.

Just the radar thing would be enough disaster. In peaceful time the enemy may decide to ignore it and just track the path of the drone (and hide). In armed conflict, there are missiles that use the radar signal for target homing. It's very likely that a great number of the drones would be destroyed before somebody realizes that the enemy doesn't have miracle super secret drone tracking technology.

Re:This virus can't be a thread with no Internet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37712556)

Ignorance isn't bliss, but you can go ahead and continue believing whatever ridiculousness you can conjure up if it makes you feel better.

Unfortunately, your lack of understanding and imagination won't change reality. The virus could do FAR more than format their hard drive. Plus, it doesn't need to...they're doing that on their own.

Re:This virus can't be a thread with no Internet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37712594)

Stuxnet disagrees. While your run-of-the-mill botnet or phone-home-with-passwords malware is rendered somewhat inert by being on a closed network, a tailored virus could wreak havoc in many, many ways. The fact that system this is related to weapons control amplifies the severity of the danger. And the presence of the ordinary kind of malware proves that there is a pathway for infection. I am positive that this fact has not gone unnoticed by intelligence agencies among the U.S.'s enemies and "allies". Policies and/or attitudes should definitely be changed. Someone put something unauthorized and not properly analyzed into their system. Cyber security is sex... One unprotected act is all it takes to ruin everything.

az (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37711122)

What I don't understand (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 3 years ago | (#37711330)

Why don't they allow only signed software that is on a whitelist to run on their computers?

Sure, whitelists are highly undesirable for ordinary consumers (to say the least..), but for the military or other domains with high security demands they seem to make sense to me. Shouldn't their software be audited and signed first anyway? Shouldn't they run a custom BIOS and an operating system that can check signatures before running code? Are there technical reasons against this?

Just wondering.

Re:What I don't understand (1)

jank1887 (815982) | about 3 years ago | (#37712424)

you assume the hardware / OS is sufficient for the function you described. How many hacked up versions of Windows CE do you know that can be properly software secured? I still remember bypassing whitelists by renaming Netscape to Notepad. :)

Re:What I don't understand (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | about 3 years ago | (#37714022)

And they should use a "default deny security enforcement policy" (e.g. Bit9 software). If the application's signature is not on the permitted list it should be prevented from running. Period.

This however does not fix some underlying problems with remote distributions. Datasets have become too large to be easily handled on standard CD/DvD's, so many organizations have resorted to using hard drives to pass information. I still see potential problems. When mounting an 'untrusted' drive many things happen, not including the normal autorun which any sane/certified IT administrator would already have deactivated. First, the drive controllers are enumerated and checked for a locally installed driver for any devices found by using their device ID, and if not found it may attempt to load a driver from the device itself (fatal). Just change the ID of the drive and plant your driver on a small r/o FAT32 partition. Next, the OS will parse a potentially corrupted file system which may cause buffer overflows (fatal). Corrupt the file allocation table structures so that your code of choice gets loaded into memory. Then the OS enumerate the files on the drive and attempts to render any associated icons (fatal) for Explorer, which may have been intentionally corrupted by the sender. There could be more. Any one of these can be used to install malware if you know what you are doing, and a default deny policy isn't going to help much. Remember, any errors that occur during the privileged code used to 'mount a device' is running with system level privileges and can pretty much do anything such as opening processes and injecting threads, thus bypassing any traps on CreateProcess/fork/exec/system executives that might check for access permissions.

WIndows XP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37711404)

I bet they run Windows XP, and the frikken autorun.inf file was hacked.

How much longer consumer OSes on military systems? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 3 years ago | (#37711570)

This is a farce. Neither windows, nor linux or OS/X or commodity PC hardware should be let within 100 miles of these systems. Wtf are the military playing at? Is their trillion dollar budget not enough to afford some proper kit and in house software FFS?

Re:How much longer consumer OSes on military syste (2)

WillAdams (45638) | about 3 years ago | (#37712472)

The military has been told by GAO and OMB and other bean counters to use COTS --- it's also more expensive to get things developed on proprietary systems and that runs into single source issues.

Arguably everyone should use NSA's security-enhanced Linux: []

Or similarly secured systems.

Re:How much longer consumer OSes on military syste (2)

INT_QRK (1043164) | about 3 years ago | (#37713542)

BINGO! Policies that carry significant political political weight, especially when they become fashionable routes to swift approval, are especially prone to misunderstanding, misapplication, and imbalance between indented and unintended consequences. COTS, when misused as a panacea to achieve affordability, tends to not only be less affordable in the long run, but often leads to less effective solutions. The problem is that panaceas rarely are. Policies mindlessly pursued lead to poor results decoupled from original kernel of intent. There are certainly valid places for COTS, and valid reasons for nots.

Re:How much longer consumer OSes on military syste (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37712980)

It's a trillion dollars WITH off-the-shelf software, and off-the-shelf software at least has some proving time in a hostile environment (i.e. the real world.) If the military or contractors had to write that stuff themselves, the cost would be 1000x higher. And it's not like it would be just more expensive up front... A custom OS means all custom drivers, for everything - video cards, monitors, I/O ports, keyboard... And every time you need to change hardware suppliers you get to add another few $M for rewriting and retesting them. They would also have a very tiny pool of developers to draw on for that kind of work, making it extremely expensive to staff projects. And there'd be little reason to suspect it would be any more secure. It certainly couldn't have the same level of billions of hours of field use. Like it or not, they have to play the same cost vs. risk analysis game that any corporation plays. Their tolerance for cost might be higher than some, but it's not infinite. They have to leverage off-the-shelf based solutions. However I would suggest that solutions must be based upon the most secure choices - like SELinux (now mostly incorporated into the mainstream kernel) with Mandatory Access Controls enabled, and restrictive whitelists of what can be executed, from where, and by whom. The kind of environment that would be unusable for a regular PC... Because it's not meant to be a regular PC!!!!!

Animal House (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 3 years ago | (#37712224)

"Remain calm, all is well."

What the keylogger captured (1)

jpvlsmv (583001) | about 3 years ago | (#37713958)

All that the keylogger captured was a bunch of sequences of "IDDQD" and "IDKFA" typed over and over again.

2-Part Attack? (1)

Gooba42 (603597) | about 3 years ago | (#37718162)

Make the datalogger very infectious but otherwise look harmless.

The datalogger dumps the information back into someplace like say the portable hard drive that brought it into the secured area to begin with. It sets up shop and makes a gazillion copies of the data it was designed to ferret out but it does nothing but log the data.

Then the portable hard drive gets walked out of the building and used on other hosts, at least one of which is infected with a transmission vector which picks up the payload and forwards it to somewhere else.

The transmission vector doesn't have to be ubiquitous or virulent because that would be very easy to catch. All it needs to be is patient and wait for someone to deliver a suitable payload from any datalogger created to interface with it. The datalogger(s) will always look harmless because they can't even transmit the information on their own and the transmitter will look harmless since it doesn't replicate aggressively or quickly and doesn't ever appear to do anything at all until it encounters an appropriate payload. (0)

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I don't mean to point out the obvious here.. (1)

idbeholda (2405958) | about 3 years ago | (#37720852)

But if the offending piece of malware was on an NTFS file system, and accessed the ADS, hundreds of megabytes worth of lifted data could be stored, and nobody would be the wiser unless they checked to see what kind of data was hidden if resource forking was implemented. Pray this isn't the case, because if it is, Victoria won't have too many secrets left.
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