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Thread: Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones

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    Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones

    Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones - WSJ.com

    I find it hard to get into this without the use of some pretty, shall I say colorful words. I don't (expletive) believe this. We have without question the best trained most well equipped most modern military on the face of the planet and this happens?

    Give me a (bleeping) break.

    The potential drone vulnerability lies in an unencrypted downlink between the unmanned craft and ground control.
    Can I get a big double DUH here please. I'm sorry but this sounds like amateur hour and at the Pentagon. You would think that in a day and age of realistic video games a Private or Corporal fresh from the Video arcade would have asked about how secure the down links are.

    An episode of the TV show Chuck last season had a computer whiz hacking control of Predators, I wonder when we hear about the real ones being used against us?

    By SIOBHAN GORMAN, YOCHI J. DREAZEN and AUGUST COLE

    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.

    U.S. officials say there is no evidence that militants were able to take control of the drones or otherwise interfere with their flights. Still, the intercepts could give America's enemies battlefield advantages by removing the element of surprise from certain missions and making it easier for insurgents to determine which roads and buildings are under U.S. surveillance.

    The drone intercepts mark the emergence of a shadow cyber war within the U.S.-led conflicts overseas. They also point to a potentially serious vulnerability in Washington's growing network of unmanned drones, which have become the American weapon of choice in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    The Obama administration has come to rely heavily on the unmanned drones because they allow the U.S. to safely monitor and stalk insurgent targets in areas where sending American troops would be either politically untenable or too risky.

    The stolen video feeds also indicate that U.S. adversaries continue to find simple ways of counteracting sophisticated American military technologies.
    Last edited by Councilman; 12-17-09 at 05:52 AM.

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    Re: Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones

    This is what happens when we put too much stock in hi-tech gagetry, instead of fighting the enemy the old fashion way: by using speed, terrain, tactics and firepower to close with him and destroy him.

    Me, kinda old fasioned like that.
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    Re: Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    This is what happens when we put too much stock in hi-tech gagetry, instead of fighting the enemy the old fashion way: by using speed, terrain, tactics and firepower to close with him and destroy him.

    Me, kinda old fasioned like that.
    Give me a break. Even with this development, a person would have to be an idiot to believe drones have not been hughly successful.

    How many US and allied personnel, especially special ops, would have been killed, wounded, or captured trying to take out the same number of enemy, especially high value targets, that drones have?

    What other high-tech equipment should the US not be using? Stealth aircraft, advanced helicopters, smart bombs, advanced tanks, etc... ?

    That said, those responsible for letting this equipment get into the field without securring the data feeds should be shot.

    .

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    Re: Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones

    The military has difficulty recruiting geeks, but definitely needs to make the same kinds of strides that the CIA, SS, and FBI have.

    Worse case scenario, create a geek squad with its own internal structure and rules.

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    Re: Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones

    This was an obvious gap - someone at the Pentagon, and probably many someone's flagged this a long time ago and then a decision was made to not encrypt the data. Why? When all sensitive ground based or sattelite based communications are encrypted - why the heck would someone think that drone uplink information won't be tapped at some point?

    Someone decided to cut corners - or never followed up with this obvious gap and now every 10 year old script kiddie around the world is downloading hacked software and running to their local AFB with hopes of tapping into a drone. This is an embarassment to the brass in the AF IMO... amature hour.
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    Re: Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    This is what happens when we put too much stock in hi-tech gagetry, instead of fighting the enemy the old fashion way: by using speed, terrain, tactics and firepower to close with him and destroy him.

    Me, kinda old fasioned like that.
    I think high technology is very important. I can't believe they didn't encrypt the data link though. That seems like quite the oversight.
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    Re: Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones

    And to think we do all that with a budget that is almost equal to ALL THE REST OF THE COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD COMBINED.
    “We just simply don’t know how to govern” - Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) a member of the House Budget Committee

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    Re: Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones

    Quote Originally Posted by TOJ View Post
    Give me a break. Even with this development, a person would have to be an idiot to believe drones have not been hughly successful.

    How many US and allied personnel, especially special ops, would have been killed, wounded, or captured trying to take out the same number of enemy, especially high value targets, that drones have?

    What other high-tech equipment should the US not be using? Stealth aircraft, advanced helicopters, smart bombs, advanced tanks, etc... ?

    That said, those responsible for letting this equipment get into the field without securring the data feeds should be shot.

    .
    When did I say that haven't been successful?

    However, if the enemy finds a way to defeat the drones, then something will have to change. All I'm saying, is that we can't become too dependent on hi-tech weapons, thereby deteriorating our infantry's war fighting skills.

    At the end of the day, wars are won by an infantry soldier and his rifle.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones

    Drones alone cannot win.

    The technology gives America a strong advantage, but if we re to rely only on technology, then we realize that just because we build it does not disallow our enemies to manipulate it.
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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    Re: Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    The military has difficulty recruiting geeks, but definitely needs to make the same kinds of strides that the CIA, SS, and FBI have.

    Worse case scenario, create a geek squad with its own internal structure and rules.
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