Here is the simple way to ground a countryâ€™s air forceâ€¦
The Telegraph is reporting that fighter planes in the French navy were unable to take off after their computers were infected by a computer virus.
The aircraft were unable to download their flight plans after databases were infected by a Microsoft virus they had already been warned about several months beforehand.
At one point French naval staff were also instructed not to even open their computers.
Microsoft had warned that the â€œConfickerâ€ virus, transmitted through Windows, was attacking computer systems in October last year, but according to reports the French military ignored the warning and failed to install the necessary security measures.
You would think the French militaryÂ would get a copy of Norton or McAfee or something. It is simply amazing that one of the worldâ€™s most advanced nations would blow it big time on something so basic. On top of it, the havoc was probably caused by a deceptively simple act.
Naval officials said the â€œinfectionâ€â€˜ was probably due more to negligence than a deliberate attempt to compromise French national security. It said it suspected someone at the navy had used an infected USB key.
Terrorists around the world must be taking note of things like this.
Of course, the French try to pass it off as no big deal.
â€œThe computer virus problem had no effect on the availability of our forces.â€ The virus attacked the non-secured internal French navy network called Intramar and was detected on 21 January. The whole network was affected and military staff were instructed not to start their computers.
According to Liberation newspaper, two days later the chiefs of staff decided to isolate Intramar from the militaryâ€™s other computer systems, but certain computers at the Villacoublay air base and in the 8th Transmissions Regiment were infected. Liberation reported that on the 15 and 16 January the Navyâ€™s Rafale aircraft were â€œnailed to the groundâ€ because they were unable to â€œdownload their flight plansâ€. The aircraft were eventually activated by â€œanother systemâ€.
Sure, no effect as long as the computers arenâ€™t started or the pilots donâ€™t want a flight plan.
Quite possibly the next great war will begin and end like this. Whichever side keeps its anti-virus software up-to-date and runs periodic scans wins. Now someone just needs to explainÂ that to the Generals and Admirals.