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Tapping into drones’ video feeds was just the start. The U.S. military’s primary system for bringing over. surveillance down to soldiers and Marines on the ground is also vulnerable to electronic interception, multiple military sources tell Danger Room. That means militants have the ability to see through the eyes of all kinds of combat aircraft — from traditional fighters and bombers to unmanned spy planes. The problem is in the process of being addressed. But for now, an enormous security breach is even larger than previously thought.
“This is not a trivial solution,” one officer observes. “Almost every fighter/bomber/ISR [intelligence surveillance reconnaissance] platform we have in theater has a ROVER downlink. All of our Tactical Air Control Parties and most ground TOCs [tactical operations centers] have ROVER receivers. We need to essentially fix all of the capabilities before a full transition can occur and in the transition most capabilities need to be dual-capable (encrypted and unencrypted).”
... militants have the ability to see through the eyes of all kinds of combat aircraft — from traditional fighters and bombers to unmanned spy planes. The problem is in the process of being addressed. But for now, an enormous security breach is even larger than previously thought.
The military initially developed the Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver, or ROVER, in 2002. The idea was let troops on the ground download footage from Predator drones and AC-130 gunships as it was being taken. Since then, nearly every airplane in the American fleet — from F-16 and F/A-18 fighters to A-10 attack planes to Harrier jump jets to B-1B bombers has been outfitted with equipment that lets them transmit to ROVERs.
Originally posted by JJay55
Distraction while capturing the Iraqi oil well today maybe? Oh, here comes Iran with some aggression.... watch out.
Originally posted by Loke.
Hmmm where is the proof that it was Iranian backed? can not find it in Fixednews site. Only some unknown man who says it.
Anyways, funny that with a spending bill on military thats bigger than any other bill, they can not secure their high end military toys.
UAV personal are hard to find, they are on demand BIG time. I dont think every state has one operational on a daily basis. However, I would say they have Predators/UAVs stored in military camps in each state.
Its not "hacking" as such, these UAVs use no encryption and are very expensive to build nevermind paying for high-tech encryption. These UAVs have a 2 second delay in response so, if there was "ever" encryption on them, then that delay between the UAV pilot and the UAV will not be 2 seconds, it would be like 12/24 seconds. So, the military probably decided to just fly them without encryption due to the delay in the response from UAV to Pilot.
So, its not "hacking", its "intercepting". Hacking would mean that you would have to crack the encryption in order to get access to this. Watching a UAV in Iraq is as easy as tuning into a television, although its easy for satellite professionals..its hard as hell for the layman.
The vulnerability has always been there from the beginning. As it stands, from the UAV -> Satellite -> Ground Satellite -> UAV Pilot communication transmissions have a 2 second delay, like lag on a high performance multiplayer online game.
A 2 second delay is the best they can get, the best they have always had to deal with. If they ever applied encryption into the SatCom transmitter and UAV receiver that would change the binary commands and make them longer. So instead of the usual 64 one's and zero's being send as one command, the encryption would lengthen the binary command to, say, 768 one's and zero's (x12). That would increase the delay from 2 seconds to 24 seconds.
Having a 24 second delay on a UAV is not good, especially when it costs millions and would be of no use targeting tanks or target painting them with the laser.
Here is an intro to the UAV (below) that can be intercepted (not hacked). Its just like tuning into a Satellite TV channel, just get the co-ordinates correct and you can capture the raw video and audio. You can do this with anything that uses RF. I remember someone telling me that once (back in the early 90s) they were tuning in their satellite dish and (unknown to them) a CCTV video feed appeared and it was from inside their local police station.
Triangulation of WiFi (2.4Ghz) is not that easy, although not impossible. The near and far field obstructs the triangulation and you could get an incorrect location. For Wifi, GPS, Kismet, NetStumbler and Google Maps can be used. All RF is the same, apart from the secure lines which can also be intercepted.
EDIT: Taking control of the UAV is impossible for the insurgents, all they can do is capture the audio and video. That is it.
Skygrabber can only capture data (Video, Audio etc), it can not control it. In saying that, you could tune into a Predator, copy the latitude and longitude and maybe have a script on your computer to override the commands being sent from the UAV control box, transmitter, to the satellite, to the UAV. You could possibly just use the latitude and longitude of the satellite and send commands to it, although a user login may be prompted.
I am guessing it is like sending commands from a WiFi antenna connected to a laptop running something like "aireplay-ng" from Linux to a wireless AP. Only a satellite instead of a wireless AP and a satellite transmitter instead of a WiFi antenna.
I think its quite possible, and TPTB could use it as a false flag operation because the masses know nothing about computer/satellite hacking.
Originally posted by mikelee
Those video feeds are via RF (radio frequency) and I'll bet that no one in the US military thought encryption was needed for those types of feeds. However I bet that now they will encrypt those video feeds and that twenty-six dollar software will be returned to Radio Shack.