Thu Dec 17th, 2009 at 09:31:05 AM EST
Colman points the following story from the Wall Street Journal: Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones
$26 Software Is Used to Breach Key Weapons in Iraq; Iranian Backing Suspected
It is so much concern trolling to be blaming Iran for the "funding and training" needed to equip insurgents with laptops and $26 (yeah, no zeros missing) off-the shelf software, but the article is littered with references to Iran. The story is this:
Gen. Deptula, speaking to reporters Wednesday, said there were inherent risks to using drones since they are remotely controlled and need to send and receive video and other data over great distances. "Those kinds of things are subject to listening and exploitation," he said, adding the military was trying to solve the problems by better encrypting the drones' feeds.
The potential drone vulnerability lies in an unencrypted downlink between the unmanned craft and ground control. The U.S. government has known about the flaw since the U.S. campaign in Bosnia in the 1990s, current and former officials said. But the Pentagon assumed local adversaries wouldn't know how to exploit it, the officials said.
Predator drones are built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. of San Diego. Some of its communications technology is proprietary, so widely used encryption systems aren't readily compatible, said people familiar with the matter.
When the article claims U.S. adversaries continue to find simple ways of counteracting sophisticated American military technologies
they might as well say that the US continues to find ways to shoot itself in the foot with its sophisticated military technologies (though an unencrypted downlink is hardly sophiticated).
The real issue here is the assumption that the locals are too stupid and too unsophisticated to exploit this sort of weakness: when you think that way about your enemy your are unlikely to be able to deal with them effectively. As we've seen.