Majority of US drones still openly broadcasting secret video

Members of the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron from Indian Springs, Nev., perform preflight checks on a Predator drone before a mission in November 2001.

Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 31, 2012

The reconnaissance video streamed by U.S. military drones is still vulnerable to hacking, potentially allowing enemies to watch the valuable intelligence despite the military’s prior knowledge of the security weakness, according to a report from Wired Magazine.

The vulnerability itself is four years old, when military officials found militants in Iraq had U.S. drone video on a laptop.

Some of the American Predator and Reaper drones have received security software updates, but over half are still broadcasting without encryption, according to the report.

The entire fleet of military drones—a favorite tool of the Obama administration—will not receive retrofitting until 2014, according to a source cited in the story.

The proliferation and use of drones across the globe remains a controversial topic, especially in places like Pakistan where deadly strikes are commonplace.

Earlier this month a Washington Post report explained how the CIA asked the White House for a significant expansion of their fleet of armed drones.

Source: Wired Magazine

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone operated by the U.S. military.
Photo courtesy of the DOD


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