When news broke last week that some of the Air Force’s drone aircraft had been infected with a virus, Air Force network security experts reportedly found out about the breach when everyone else did. Officials at a Nevada Air Force base may have known about the problem for as long as two weeks and never reported the issue to security.
According to Wired, a source involved with Air Force network operations told a reporter it learned about the problem from an article on the site.
Although there’s no sign that the virus — which records keystrokes made by the drones’ remote pilots — has damaged the operations the drones were involved with or sprung a leak in sensitive information, a full investigation into the virus has just started. Wired reports that, in practice, the military has no centralized system for handling network security threats and seems to be stifled by bureaucracy and a lack of communication.
Wired’s source says there’s not much of a reason for those who are in the know to share news of such security breaches:
“Nothing was ever reported anywhere. They just didn’t think it was important enough. The incentive to share weaknesses is just not there.”