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Insurgents intercepted video feed from Predator drones


Pave Low
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was discovered when footage shot by a Predator drone was found on the laptop of an apprehended Iraqi insurgent.

Shia fighters are said to have used off-the-shelf software programs such as SkyGrabber to capture the footage.

was possible because the remotely flown planes have an unprotected communications link.

And here’s the real scandal: Military officials have known about this potential vulnerability since the Bosnia campaign. That was over 10 years ago. And, as Declan McCullagh observes, there have been a series of government reports warning of the problem since then.

But the Pentagon assumed that their adversaries in the Middle East and Central Asia wouldn’t have the smarts to tap into the communications link. That’s despite presentations like this 1996 doozy from Air Combat Command, which noted that that “the Predator UAV is designed to operate with unencrypted data links.”

:blink:>_< D'oh

the US defence department had addressed the issue by working to encrypt all video feeds provided by drones in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Stable door... after horse.... anyone - still, better late than never

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/12/in...Stories+2%29%29

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8419147.stm

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34465420/ns/te...ience-security/

and of course some "news" organisations are running "OMG teh terorists Hacked teh predators" type stories <_< when actually they didn't gain any control over them. "just" listened to the feed (which is still bad enough)

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I haven't looked into this story but is this another of those media over-reactions? Any "hacked" airstrike packets make it to Google?

All sensor/comm suites are not created equal...the Raven and Hunter recon UAVs use different software packages than the armed recon Predator/Reaper UCAVs. And the high-end stuff flown by the CIA would be an all together different story...as they encrypt their laundry lists.

...and of course some "news" organisations are running "OMG teh terorists Hacked teh predators" type stories <_< when actually they didn't gain any control over them. "just" listened to the feed (which is still bad enough)

BAU. How many times have you seen a journalist refer to an MBT in a story/feature and in reality it turned out to be an APC.
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It's not a new story. During the the balkans conflict, some sattelite TV enthusiast intercepted live Predator imagery and even went public with it.

I'm certainly not the one to ask about techical issues, but from what I gather, encryption is not something you just do. It's a pretty big job to bring the necessary data to everyone who needs it in he first place, and adding encryption to the equasion makes it a lot harder.

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