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Computers controlling America’s Predator and Reaper unmanned drone fleets – widely used in Afghanistan for surveillance and sometimes for attack – have been invaded by a computer virus, according to a Wired report.

Computers controlling America’s Predator and Reaper unmanned drone fleets – widely used in Afghanistan for surveillance and sometimes for attack – have been invaded by a computer virus, according to a Wired report.

The virus is said to be a keylogger – a piece of software that records all of the keystrokes made by drone pilots. So far it has not been determined if the virus attack is intentional – but even if not it indicates a serious vulnerability in the security of the drone fleet.

Despite their widespread use, the drone systems are known to have a number of security flaws. Many Reapers and Predators don’t encrypt the video they transmit to American troops on the ground.

In 2009, US forces discovered extensive drone footage on the laptops of Iraqi insurgents. A $26 piece of software had allowed the militants to capture the video.

While the drones operate in Afghanistan and other global trouble spots, the unmanned aircraft are manoeuvred from highly secret installations in the US.

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