Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

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psijac
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Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#1

Post by psijac » Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:33 am

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126102247889095011.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
WASHINGTON -- Militants in Iraq have used $26 off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor U.S. military operations.

Senior defense and intelligence officials said Iranian-backed insurgents intercepted the video feeds by taking advantage of an unprotected communications link in some of the remotely flown planes' systems. Shiite fighters in Iraq used software programs such as SkyGrabber -- available for as little as $25.95 on the Internet -- to regularly capture drone video feeds, according to a person familiar with reports on the matter.
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Re: Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#2

Post by chabouk » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:17 am

The worst part: they didn't hack the video feed, because they didn't have to. It was unencrypted, in the clear, requiring nothing more than an antenna.

This is a very black mark on our military decision makers.

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Re: Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#3

Post by marksiwel » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:57 am

chabouk wrote:The worst part: they didn't hack the video feed, because they didn't have to. It was unencrypted, in the clear, requiring nothing more than an antenna.

This is a very black mark on our military decision makers.
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Re: Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#4

Post by bdickens » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:16 am

This is the transparency that the Obamessiah promised.
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Re: Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#5

Post by williamkevin » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:37 am

Don't believe everything you read....

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Re: Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#6

Post by marksiwel » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:40 am

this has been problem since the Drones have been in combat, we've known about it, we just figured it wasnt a Big Deal

What is scary is if we were to use these weapons against, Russia, North Keora, or China, you bet your beans they know about the problem and would exploit the heck out of it
also Russia and china have their own unmanned drones
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Re: Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#7

Post by Mithras61 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:43 am

bdickens wrote:This is the transparency that the Obamessiah promised.
Its amazingly easy to blame Obama for this, but this problem goes back almost 20 years and through three (perhaps even four) administrations. The fact is, our military leaders have known about this since the Bosnian war back in the 1992-1995 time frame and have done nothing since to correct it.

I suspect that the problem goes back further than that (things like the Predator drone don't spring up overnight and out of nothingness), and the decisions were made as much as 25 years ago or more. The "guess" of our military leaders that our opponents wouldn't be able to figure it out was at best unsupported opinion, and many events since the advent of the public Internet should have clued them in on the ability of our opponents to find information and use it to their benefit.

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Re: Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#8

Post by TLynnHughes » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:48 am

williamkevin wrote:Don't believe everything you read....
:iagree:

And I wonder if the moderators could provide a smilie that illustrates "biting one's tongue." I'm finding that I could use that a lot. :roll:

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Re: Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#9

Post by surprise_i'm_armed » Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:25 am

The other day this was being discussed on the radio.

Apparently now that the problem has been publicized, the
military is going to encrypt the drones' data to prevent this
from happening in the future.

The enemy could apparently only view what the US operators
were seeing, allowing them to know who was being surveilled,
but they were not able to do anything such as make the drone
fly elsewhere, or launch its weapons.

Thank goodness for small favors!

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Re: Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#10

Post by C-dub » Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:13 am

I wonder if an antenna is the only way to have done this. Could the video have been "hacked" into from the internet? If this can be done I was wondering about anyone just dropping in to watch.
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Re: Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#11

Post by surprise_i'm_armed » Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:03 pm

C-dub:

My take on this would be that the drones' images would
be tranmitted directly to the US operators via satellite feed.

I wouldn't think any part of the image stream would go to the
Internet. Why would the US military need the Internet as part
of the comm process?

Caveat: I am not a military intelligence specialist, but I did
stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. :-)

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Re: Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#12

Post by Keith B » Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:51 pm

Actually, the Internet was originally ARPANet and was part of the defense research development network. The Military still uses the net for a lot of things, but also have their own private secured links for more critical information.

From reading the news articles, the insurgents were using software, dishes and a receiver card to grab the information being transmitted from the drones direct off the air.
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Re: Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#13

Post by marksiwel » Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:19 pm

Keith B wrote:Actually, the Internet was originally ARPANet and was part of the defense research development network. The Military still uses the net for a lot of things, but also have their own private secured links for more critical information.

From reading the news articles, the insurgents were using software, dishes and a receiver card to grab the information being transmitted from the drones direct off the air.
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Re: Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#14

Post by Jonathanaf » Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:12 pm

surprise_i'm_armed wrote:The other day this was being discussed on the radio.

Apparently now that the problem has been publicized, the
military is going to encrypt the drones' data to prevent this
from happening in the future.

The enemy could apparently only view what the US operators
were seeing, allowing them to know who was being surveilled,
but they were not able to do anything such as make the drone
fly elsewhere, or launch its weapons.

Thank goodness for small favors!

SIA
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Re: Insurgents Hack Video Feed for Drones

#15

Post by snorri » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:18 pm

It's not much of a hack to watch unencrypted video. For what these cost, they should be encrypted at least as good as DIRECTV. :lol:
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