US AIR FORCE PREDATOR HACKED AGAIN
About two years ago, Predator video streams were intercepted by insurgents. The bad guys were able to view what the pilots viewed during operations. A program that cost less than $30 allowed easy access to view the Predator video streams. When the Russian developer was contacted and asked about this program feature, he stated that his program wasn’t written to hack military video feeds. The program was intended to intercept multimedia on the Internet. This should have been a wakeup call for the military but the incident was quickly forgotten.
A few weeks ago, Predators hacking was in the news again. This time, a keylogger Trojan was discovered on computers that are used to control the Predator during operations. It appeared that someone had installed a program that contained the Trojan. The military stated that no secrets were compromised but this should be another wakeup call to get VERY serious about computer security. You only get a few warnings….
Our military forces depend heavily on our high tech resources. Becoming complacent will allow an enemy to defeat our technology advantage. What if an enemy was able to gain control over one of these weapon systems, we could be on the receiving end of a Predator’s sting.
Frequently, a client will call my office to request virus removal on their business computers. A quick review of the office practices will often reveal a wild west policy for managing computers. While you don’t want people to be afraid of computers, they have to understand that you can’t just load any program on their business computer. A business computer is a valuable business resource, it is not a personal entertainment device.
It never ceases to amaze me when employees consider a computer on their desk to be their personal property. It is even more amazing when an employee considers email received on their employer’s email account to be their personal property. Court cases have been determined by careless emails. That politically incorrect joke that you forwarded may come back to haunt you or your employer.
“I never open mail from anyone that I don’t know…” “My friend would never send me a virus…” It is very easy to fake the sender of an email. Is your friend a computer expert? Do they know how to determine that a virus isn’t lurking in something that they sent you?
You have to have an operating room mentality to keep your computer free of viruses. Your computer is the operating room. Email and programs are things being brought into the operating room. Would you bring a contaminated object into the operating room? Don’t fear computers but be aware of havoc that viruses could unleash.