Command and control combat drones the U.S. transferred from Windows to Linux

USAF announced the transfer of command and control combat drones to the Windows operating system running on Linux. This bold move is largely due to the recent scandal when, in September last year on the basis of the U.S. Air Force in Creech (Creech), pc. Nevada virus was detected. Command Base explained that the virus did not threaten the immediate work of reconnaissance-strike vehicles Reaper, which caters to this base, but the attack apparently prompted the military to move.

As explained by representatives of the U.S. Air Force ground-based systems are separated from the flight control systems, which are used for remote control of the UAV. Despite a viral infection, the work of flying and their killers remain on the ground operators out of danger. It is known that the virus came to Creech Air Force Base via external hard drives, on which the transport operator to update the maps and record video from cameras UAV. At some point, with one of these drives for computers hit the ground station tracking the virus. According to officials from the Air Force, the virus is applied to such kinds of malware that attempt to steal various registration user information, including names and passwords and bank account numbers and so on.

After the September incident, ground crew of the Air Force are prohibited from using removable drives for data transfer between computers, to prevent other attacks. At the same time, the military did not emphasize the fact that some computers were moved from Windows to Linux and open source code. Evidence of this surfaced Finnish specialist in IT security Mikko Hypponen in the public domain by comparing photographs of control centers in 2009 and 2011. It is noteworthy that the photo was taken in 2009 from the website of the military base Creech, but now this picture has already been removed from the site (but stripped-down copy of the hitherto published in the departmental journal USAF).

Hypponen said himself his find: “If I had to choose between the solutions based on Windows XP and Linux when building systems for military use, I would without a moment’s doubt that choose.” We can assume that Linux is again empirically confirmed the increased resistance to viruses than Windows, at least in the current situation.

13 January 2012

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