Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ye Olde Drone Hackers Ride Again

So the cavemen really are sophisticated enough to hack into our best and brightest?

They really did hack into military drone aircraft station KBOM to see our view of things? That is what the journalists are reporting:
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.
(Wall Street Journal). Just for kicks lets remember that there are lots of posts which point out that security is the word the military thinkers use to scare the congress into trillions of dollars spent on useless wars and infrastructure improvement in foreign nations that many folks can't find on a map.

For forty years the military has been hackable. If you want a book that documented the current reality 40 years ago, read The Cuckoo's Egg, by Cliff Stoll. He had a difficult time convincing the military that it was being hacked as if it was an open book:
The meeting was top secret, so I couldn't listen—someone fetched me when my turn came. In a small room, lit only by the viewgraph machine, there were around thirty people, most of them in uniforms. Generals and admirals, like you see in the movies.

Well, I talked for half an hour, describing how the hacker was breaking into military computers and skipping through our networks.
...
I know as little about the military world as the next person. "I guess I'm impressed, though I'm not sure why," I said. "You ought to be," Bob said. "These are all flag officers. General John Paul Hyde works at the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And that guy in the front row -- he's a big shot from the FBI. It's a good thing he heard you."
(ibid, The Cuckoo's Egg, p. 200). This took place 40 years ago when a long hair from Berkeley informed the military they were being had, so they gave the long haired hippy astronomer the National Medal of Honor.

But they did not fix the system, because when someone hacks the system they can go to congress yelling "security security" to scare congress into giving them more money not to fix it.

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