I've been busier than a one-armed paper hanger with an itch - closing out the month - and haven't had time to tend to Blog STORMBRINGER . . .
MQ-9 Reaper armed with GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided munitions and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles
The headlines read:
Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones
$26 Software Is Used to Breach Key Weapons in Iraq; Iranian Backing Suspected
When I heard this story on Thursday I thought right away, 'this isn't such a big deal.' If for no other reason that live video isn't encrypted.
Text and voice signal can be encrypted, but video is such a LARGE bundle of one's and zero's that it's hard to send live in the first place. Trying to encrypt and send live video - well, I won't say it's impossible, but it'd be damn hard to achieve.
Live video eats up so much signal and bandwidth on the electromagnetic spectrum, that it's hard for ground pounders to even get a frequency to use vid, never mind the power source necessary to send the stuff.
But I'm just a lowly knuckledragging Neanderthal, what do I know? SO . . . I ran it past the team techie - our "Q" - and he confirmed what I already suspected: video can't be encrypted (as far as he knows, and he knows a LOT). Ergo this is NOT hacking, this is eavesdropping:
This from the AP:
Dale Meyerrose, former chief information officer for the U.S. intelligence community, compared the problem to street criminals listening to police scanners.
"This was just one of the signals, a broadcast signal, and there was no hacking. It is the interception of a broadcast signal," said Meyerrose, who worked to field the unmanned systems in the 1990s, when he was a senior Air Force officer.
The problem, he said, is that when the drones were first being developed they were using commercial equipment, which as time goes on could become vulnerable to intercepts.
There is a tendency to de-humanize your enemies, and to underestimate them - especially if they are Asians or Africans.
The Taliban have displayed some ingenuity here, granted, but this does not put them in the same category as the SpyKids.