You've got to be kidding me

You've got to be kidding me

PostBy: ErikLaurence On: Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:35 pm

Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones

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



http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1 ... 7889095011

Are you seriously telling me that predators are sending unencrypted video? What idiot let this happen.
ErikLaurence
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Reading Lehigh
Stove/Furnace Model: LL Hyfire II w/heat jacket

Re: You've got to be kidding me

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:00 pm

That's surprising but on the other hand encrypting that amount data on the fly would require a LOT of CPU resources.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: You've got to be kidding me

PostBy: Freddy On: Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:20 pm

So what if they can see the video? Oh look! We're going to die! And....they do.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
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Re: You've got to be kidding me

PostBy: ErikLaurence On: Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:41 pm

Richard S. wrote:That's surprising but on the other hand encrypting that amount data on the fly would require a LOT of CPU resources.


Any self respecting computer scientist could write you an encryption system that could run on a 10 year old PC in an afternoon. All you're doing is scrambling lines to a rotating key. I wrote a system that did this to scramble interactive television in 1994. If you've got a decent amount of memory (1G) then this can be easy computationally. Honestly it's on the scale of a first year CS problem at MIT.

And if you do it in optimized hardware? Even easier. Heck, something like viewlock does cut an rotate encryption that is very fast, very secure, and quite cheap.
ErikLaurence
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Reading Lehigh
Stove/Furnace Model: LL Hyfire II w/heat jacket

Re: You've got to be kidding me

PostBy: ErikLaurence On: Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:42 pm

Freddy wrote:So what if they can see the video? Oh look! We're going to die! And....they do.


No, you see them looking around Orrington for you so you move to Bangor before they find you.
ErikLaurence
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Reading Lehigh
Stove/Furnace Model: LL Hyfire II w/heat jacket

Re: You've got to be kidding me

PostBy: Yanche On: Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:58 pm

Encryption of wideband data streams in real time is not done with a CPU. It's done with dedicated hardware. Hardware that has the data encryption logic hardwired. One problem with encryption with dedicated hardware is when the enemy captures the hardware they now have the "key" to decrypting all other sources using the same hardware encryption logic. General purpose CPU logic for encryption offers easy key changes but is painfully slow. So it's often a mission trade off. Go unencrypted or risk hardware capture. The logistics of keeping track of what keys might be compromised is a difficult one.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: You've got to be kidding me

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:03 pm

ErikLaurence wrote:
Richard S. wrote:That's surprising but on the other hand encrypting that amount data on the fly would require a LOT of CPU resources.


Any self respecting computer scientist could write you an encryption system that could run on a 10 year old PC in an afternoon. All you're doing is scrambling lines to a rotating key. I wrote a system that did this to scramble interactive television in 1994. If you've got a decent amount of memory (1G) then this can be easy computationally. Honestly it's on the scale of a first year CS problem at MIT.

And if you do it in optimized hardware? Even easier. Heck, something like viewlock does cut an rotate encryption that is very fast, very secure, and quite cheap.


They need it on the fly though, so you'd need to encrypt about a 2000kbps stream instantly and that would provide about DVD quality. What kind of horsepower do you think that would require?

I'm not saying it can't be done and shouldn't have been done but I'd imagine processing power was reason it wasn't done.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: You've got to be kidding me

PostBy: samhill On: Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:52 pm

They knew about ever since Bosnia, just underestimated the enemy like in every other sector everyone wants paid for doing a job but nobody wants to work or throw in a wee bit extra effort.
samhill
 
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Re: You've got to be kidding me

PostBy: pvolcko On: Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:32 pm

CPU horsepower and/or availability of encryption hardware is not the issue. The data rate for real-time encrypted video will easily be handled by modern hardware. Nor will bandwidth issues stop this, since the encrypted and clear streams will be the same length and rate.

Also, we've been self-destroying sensitive hardware and data in recon aircraft for years. We're pretty good at it by now. Nothing new under the sun on this front that would be a stumbling block. Not to mention, the keys and encryption system would be least sensitive of the secrets to be kept in a captured drone. The encryption scheme is likely an open source algo (AES, DES, etc.) and captured keys would be of limited use (all they could be used for is decrypting things the drone had broadcast prior to the capture). I would suspect the camera/mount system, sensor package, and navigation/control system would be more sensitive and worthy of protection.

There are two possibilities that I think could be at play:

1) The video that was captured was not in fact "sensitive". Perhaps it was low res and used only for flying, tracking, aiming and other tasks that benefit from as near realtime feedback as possible.

2) A requirement for multiple receivers to be able to use the video broadcast, at least one of which may not have decryption capability for one reason or another, forced clear broadcast. This could potentially be turned on or off remotely. Also possible that spur of the moment need for unencrypted broadcast has forced in the clear broadcsast as a standard practice, with only high sensitivity missions encrypting broadcast.
pvolcko
 

Re: You've got to be kidding me

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:50 pm

pvolcko wrote:1) The video that was captured was not in fact "sensitive". Perhaps it was low res and used only for flying, tracking, aiming and other tasks that benefit from as near realtime feedback as possible.


Another thing to consider is they might have done it on purpose and just fed them things they wanted them to see. If it was real deal they were intercepting another possibility is they used it like that after finding out they were intercepting them.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: You've got to be kidding me

PostBy: Black_And_Blue On: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:17 pm

Where do I purchase said receiver?

Whatever video feed they are streaming surely beats anything emanating out of my television set.

:idea: Reality TV...... Hardcore Edition.....War *censored* Channel......
Black_And_Blue
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska 140

Re: You've got to be kidding me

PostBy: pvolcko On: Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:35 am

Oy... I read the rest of the article... frikin' idiots. Spend hundreds of billions of dollars on two war efforts and they can't manage to throw a few million at some secure downlink systeam retrofits? If they don't want to bother retrofiting, then go ahead and buy new ones and sell the old ones to the FBI, DEA, or some other domestic law enforcement agency for cheap. Maybe pawn them off on a few national guard units for training and practice purposes, or perhaps to monitor the borders. Coast Guard could use them for coast monitoring, tracking narco traffickers, or getting early eyes on rescue scenes.

At least it appears that this is only possible on some drones, not all. Any chance we can assume they use the secure drones for important missions? Nah, didn't think so.
pvolcko
 

Re: You've got to be kidding me

PostBy: whistlenut On: Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:51 am

.....and they think the coal forum is populated with a bunch of 'anthracite grit eatin' stoker heads'......Oh my Gawd!!!

You guys continue to astound and amaze me!!!!!! :eek2: :woot: :notsure: :what: :verycool: :crazy: :alone: :crutch: :stretcher: :wtf:
whistlenut
 
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