Saturday, December 19, 2009

Iraq, Paper, Scissors

You've got to be f'n kidding me. A billion dollar Defense project penetrated by a $26 software program available on the Internet.

One of my more high-tech coworkers remarked that what the insurgents were doing technically wasn't "hacking" since the drone feeds weren't encrypted to begin with. So, it's more like "listening in."

That's just peachy.

From The Guardian:

US drones hacked by Iraqi insurgents

One of America's most sophisticated weapons in the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the unmanned drone, has been successfully penetrated by insurgents using software available on the internet for $26 (£16).

Insurgents in Iraq intercepted live video feeds from the drones being relayed back to a US controller and revealing potential targets. A US official said the flaw was identified and fixed in the past 12 months.

...The US air force is responsible for drones in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the CIA for those in Pakistan. The CIA video feeds are reported to have been encrypted, while some of the air forces ones were not.

The Pentagon had been aware of the problem for many years, but had assumed the insurgents would not have the technical knowledge to intercept the feeds.

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