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Iraq insurgents 'hack into video feeds from US drones'

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posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 11:38 AM
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Insurgents in Iraq have hacked into live video feeds from unmanned American drone aircraft, US media reports say. Shia fighters are said to have used off-the-shelf software programs such as SkyGrabber to capture the footage. The hacking was possible because the remotely flown planes have an unprotected communications link


BBC

If these drones have an unsecured communication link, even though the story says they havn't gotten proof that they can take control of them, is this link connected to the control systems? i.e. will it give any enemy the opportunity to hijack these drones and use them against us? or are the control systems on a separate more secure communication link?

[edit on 17-12-2009 by solidshot]




posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 11:41 AM
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This gives me hope that if these drones are ever turned against us and used against the American populace which very well could happen that we could hack into them as well. If some terrorists can do it I'm sure some of the best computer hackers in the US can do it and much more.

Makes me realize that no matter how much technological armor our government and the TPTB have there will always be chinks in it.

[edit on 17-12-2009 by Zosynspiracy]



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 11:49 AM
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Thanks for the story mate!

*goes off to download a copy of Skygrabber



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 12:41 PM
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It's all very well hacking into video feeds. To start off with, they'd need to know which area the drone is covering to make use of any real time imagery, and then, unless they're used to looking at aerial footage, they might not understand what the drone is filming to make use of it at that particular moment in time.

On the other hand, if they can hack into the control systems whilst the drone is in flight, then that is a very worrying scenario for our guys on the ground in Iraq/Afghanistan, especially if the drone is a hunter killer variant with AGMs onboard, or even worse, painting a target for an airstrike.

Interesting story indeed!



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 01:01 PM
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You will notice you will have a lot of trouble trying to download a copy of Skygrabber.

The website seems to be under some kind of Denial of Service attack (by looking at dropped packets while trying to download).

I have found the parent directory holding a list of all the software this company has to offer. Here is the Index of this directory

I advise anyone who wishes to download this program, or the other programs on this website, that you use a download manager such as "DownloadThemAll" for Firefox. Reason is, I am finding it impossible to download any files without them being corrupted. Hope this helps.

[edit on 17/12/2009 by the_denv]



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 02:43 PM
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I recently went to the Wings Over Houston Airshow and saw a drone that said "City of Houston." Do you guys think the police use these or are these for the Texas ANG? (I have a pic I took maybe I'll post it later.) In any case, if the cops use these maybe hackers here state side, can hack into them.



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by 3vilscript
I recently went to the Wings Over Houston Airshow and saw a drone that said "City of Houston." Do you guys think the police use these or are these for the Texas ANG? (I have a pic I took maybe I'll post it later.) In any case, if the cops use these maybe hackers here state side, can hack into them.


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 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.

Here, check this video that was just uploaded:



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 04:48 PM
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So now when the drones start attacking American citizens they can just turn around and say 'It wasn't us the terrorists hacked our drones and did it!!!'



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 05:55 PM
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Originally posted by Bachfin
So now when the drones start attacking American citizens they can just turn around and say 'It wasn't us the terrorists hacked our drones and did it!!!'


Good point.
Although I think 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.



posted on Dec, 23 2009 @ 07:55 PM
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The Predators and Reapers that are being used in Iraq are generally controlled out of Nellis, with very few being controlled from Iraq groundbases. The control signal is routed via fiber from Nevada to Turkey with an encrypted sat pop into the skies over Iraq.

What the insurgents did was not "hacking", they simply tuned in to watch the sat return feed. At no time was control of the UAV in peril, but rather due to the limited number of transponders available for mil encrypted communications the return feed is routed thru commercial satellites. All the insurgents did was tune in the right transponder with a comercial key breaker.

This was not rocket science nor scary, as shown by others in this thread its very easy to do.

Natalie~

PS: if you like realityTV then you should try checking into the sat feeds yourself, nothing like tuning into a reaper on a hunter/killer mission.


[edit on 12-25-2009 by intelgurl]



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 09:42 AM
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The command and control channel is, and always has been, encrypted -- because that's both more important and easier to manage. UAVs are flown by airmen sitting at comfortable desks on U.S. military bases, where key management is simpler. But the video feed is different. It needs to be available to all sorts of people, of varying nationalities and security clearances, on a variety of field terminals, in a variety of geographical areas, in all sorts of conditions -- with everything constantly changing. Key management in this environment would be a nightmare.


that's what this guy wrote... ok everyone, you can all relax now, its not a problem. just relaying the info, don't shoot the messenger.

[edit on 12.28.09 by toreishi]




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