Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Encryption The Military United States IT Technology

Most US Drones Still Beam Video Unencrypted 138

An anonymous reader writes "Four years after discovering that militants were tapping into drone video feeds, the U.S. military still hasn't secured the transmissions of more than half of its fleet of Predator and Reaper drones, Danger Room has learned. The majority of the aircraft still broadcast their classified video streams 'in the clear' — without encryption. With a minimal amount of equipment and know-how, militants can see what America's drones see."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Most US Drones Still Beam Video Unencrypted

Comments Filter:
  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @11:39PM (#41862121)

    While amusing, the ability to watch the video unencrypted probably won't save you from being blown up at that point. What it will do, however, is tell your buddies where the drone took off, where it landed, and what areas are under surveillance. Now if I were an evil scheming terrorist, I'd wait until the drone passed by with its surveillance rig, and once it recorded something the top brass would consider a "target", shuffle in a bunch of women and children in the back way, and then evacuate the building. When Sir Bombsalot comes knocking, have camcorders standing by to show how the bastard americans are targeting innocent women and children.

    It's clear that the US military is better funded than my theoretical terrorist cell of doom, so rather than risk the lives of my people, I'd just as soon leave somebody else in the firing line. Why send someone into a crowded building with a bomb strapped to their chest when your enemy will happily supply an expensive GPS-guided smart bomb instead? And if the equipment to watch the video isn't expensive, equipment to jam the signal and replace it with a fake feed wouldn't be that difficult to come by either. It's not like realtime video manipulation software doesn't exist; they use it for football games, and it fits in the back of a van. Or did you think the yellow scrimmage line got repainted every time they made a new first down?

  • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @02:03AM (#41862685) Homepage

    Then there is the point that if the hunted knows that he's discovered then it may be enough for them to call off an attack. So unencrypted may actually serve a purpose.

    And when you run encryption there's always one more factor that can go wrong. No picture at all is completely useless.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.