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Predator Communications Hacked by Insurgents Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Ashrak 

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 11:24 AM

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Insurgents Hacked Drone Feeds
December 17, 2009
Associated Press

Insurgents in Iraq have hacked into live video feeds from Predator drones, the U.S. military's eyes in the sky for surveillance and intelligence collection.

A senior defense official says militants could see the video, but there is no evidence they were able to jam the electronic signals from the unmanned aerial crafts or take control of them. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence issues.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Thursday that Shiite fighters in Iraq used off-the-shelf software programs such as SkyGrabber - available for as little as $25.95 on the Internet - to regularly capture drone video feeds. The hacking was possible because some of the planes have an unprotected communications link. The Journal report indicates that military trainers from Iran helped Iraqi insurgents use the software to monitor U.S. raids, and the hacking may have helped tip off militants to American military plans.

Pentagon officials told the paper they had seized Shiite insurgent laptops that contained "hours" of Predator and other drone footage. Officials first became aware of the espionage in late 2008 and captured more pirated material from Iran-backed insurgents in July.

The hacking may not be isolated to Iraqi insurgents, the paper said, and could be used to compromise drone operations in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.

The Pentagon is working to encrypt the drone feeds.


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Defense Tech
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Hi-Tech vs Lo-Tech at work again.

This post has been edited by Ashrak: 17 December 2009 - 11:28 AM

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#2 User is offline   dextonik 

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 11:32 AM

wow thats a little disturbing.
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#3 User is offline   ghostinthewood 

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 11:33 AM

View Postdextonik, on Dec 17 2009, 11:32 AM, said:

wow thats a little disturbing.

It is til you realize that the military was just being lazy and all they have to do is make ALL the drones secure. Scarey, sure, but I'm not worried.
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#4 User is offline   Ashrak 

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 11:35 AM

You'd think they would have gone ahead and encrypted the feeds, I dunno, from the beginning.

This post has been edited by Ashrak: 17 December 2009 - 11:35 AM

Alea iacta est ~ The board is set, the pieces are moving.
~ Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay withered and strown. ~ Destruction of Sennacherib

~ Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the American states a man who more cordially loves a union with his country than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the United States Congress proposes; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America. ~ Thomas Jefferson (modernized)
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#5 User is offline   dextonik 

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 11:41 AM

Yeah, at least they didn't take over the controls. Our 3rd world enemies are getting smarter.
If you can't hack it, then I suggest you pack it!
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#6 User is offline   slinkyaroo 

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 11:50 AM

I find this humorous. The US spends $250 million so the Taliban can video message home. :(


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#7 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 11:53 AM

This wasn't hacking. Hacking generally requires figuring out a workaround of some security measure.

What fools in Washington.

Side Note -- Wish I thought of that before the insurgents did! I could have been getting great videos for youtube all this time of insurgents getting blown up :semi dodgy:

Seriously, I never would have guessed they'd not bother to put any security measures in place. That's insane.
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#8 User is offline   MurderDeathKill 

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 11:56 AM

Your Air Force at work, ladies and gentlemen....
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#9 User is offline   The Stuntman 

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 12:03 PM

View Postdextonik, on Dec 17 2009, 10:41 AM, said:

Yeah, at least they didn't take over the controls. Our 3rd world enemies are getting smarter.

Its just a matter of time...

This is the biggest argument against reliance on remote opperated/independant AI controlled war machines...a real flesh & blood pilot cannot be hacked, jammed, or controlled.
Drones are handy to have & certainly usefull, but will never replace real people when there is serious fighting to be done.
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Posted 17 December 2009 - 12:06 PM

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#11 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 12:09 PM

View PostThe Stuntman, on Dec 17 2009, 01:03 PM, said:

View Postdextonik, on Dec 17 2009, 10:41 AM, said:

Yeah, at least they didn't take over the controls. Our 3rd world enemies are getting smarter.

Its just a matter of time...


It could probably be done now, given the right tools on hand.

The reason they couldn't is they were using a laptop with software that was never built to take control of a moving object.

If they get the right equipment, it could easily happen.
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#12 User is offline   dextonik 

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 12:37 PM

View PostThe Stuntman, on Dec 17 2009, 12:03 PM, said:

View Postdextonik, on Dec 17 2009, 10:41 AM, said:

Yeah, at least they didn't take over the controls. Our 3rd world enemies are getting smarter.

Its just a matter of time...

This is the biggest argument against reliance on remote opperated/independant AI controlled war machines...a real flesh & blood pilot cannot be hacked, jammed, or controlled.
Drones are handy to have & certainly usefull, but will never replace real people when there is serious fighting to be done.

that is true. but for now at least it will save most of our soldiers from becoming casualties of this pointless war. they say that we are fighting a terrorist war. I think its an oil war but the terrorists are just in the way.
If you can't hack it, then I suggest you pack it!
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#13 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 12:42 PM

View Postdextonik, on Dec 17 2009, 01:37 PM, said:

that is true. but for now at least it will save most of our soldiers from becoming casualties of this pointless war. they say that we are fighting a terrorist war. I think its an oil war but the terrorists are just in the way.


Our drones aren't being shot down.

If we used conventional, manned planes instead, they still wouldn't be shot down.

No casualties either way.

As for your other comments... totally new subject that goes outside the thread's subject. I'll sum up my view by saying it's neither "a terrorist war" NOR "an oil war."
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Posted 17 December 2009 - 12:52 PM

Well.....this week's fail brought to you by the letter F, the number 7, and the US Air Force.
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Posted 17 December 2009 - 02:48 PM

This is why UAVs suck. Not to mention they are slow, carry less ordnance, and are much less useful than a REAL plane with a REAL pilot.
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