Skygrabber - Drone video for 26 bucks

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Navy1960, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    Skygrabber would be a useful tool for you if you're out there trying to make sure the US Military can't catch up with you.

    Skygrabber is a simple little piece of software, widely available for under $30 from a number of different sources. It was developed in Russia as an aid to grabbing videos and other digital data that others were downloading from the internet:

    The militants use programs such as SkyGrabber, from Russian company SkySoftware. Andrew Solonikov, one of the software's developers, said he was unaware that his software could be used to intercept drone feeds. "It was developed to intercept music, photos, video, programs and other content that other users download from the Internet -- no military data or other commercial data, only free legal content," he said by email from Russia.

    We might take that claim of "free legal content" with a pich of salt but certainly the company had no idea that it would be used by Islamic militants. For what they have been doing is using Skygrabber to download the data feeds from drones which are looking for them. If you know what the drones can see then of course you can either hide from them or at the very least check and see if they've seen you and that you then have to move:

    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.
    Skygrabber: a useful tool if you're trying to avoid the US Military
     
  2. ☭proletarian☭
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    They don't encrypt the feeds?
     
  3. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    They do now, it's a case of one of those, getting caught with your pants down. However what is not being said here is that getting a video feed does not mean you know what the position of the drone is. However, the premise is that if someone can monitor the video feeds it will in theory give them enough time to evade any actions the drone may take.
     
  4. MaggieMae
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    MaggieMae Reality bits

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    That's an incredible story. If those "senior defense officials" have known this was going on since the height of the Iraq war, then why the hell haven't they done something about it before? Now, thanks to news reports, they'll be embarrassed into doing something. I think I'm gonna be sick.
     
  5. ba1614
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    ba1614 Silver Member

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    Sounds like it's fixed now, but I can't imagine they didn't encrypt it from day 1. I would have thought that standard for something this important.
     
  6. blu
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    blu Senior Member

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    I am not sure if it is fixed. from this article: Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones - WSJ.com

    I cant believe the stuff wasn't encrypted. thats completely stupid
     
  7. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    A senior defense official said that James Clapper, the Pentagon's intelligence chief, assessed the Iraq intercepts at the direction of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and concluded they represented a shortcoming to the security of the drone network.

    "There did appear to be a vulnerability," the defense official said. "There's been no harm done to troops or missions compromised as a result of it, but there's an issue that we can take care of and we're doing so."

    Senior military and intelligence officials said the U.S. was working to encrypt all of its drone video feeds from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but said it wasn't yet clear if the problem had been completely resolved.

    Nat'l Security US Drones Twarted by $26 Russian Software - ChiefsPlanet

    What I found to be very interesting about all this, is it serves to hi-light Russia's involvement in Iraq as well as Afghanistan. In my humble opinion this skygrabber software was developed at the request of the Iranians and supplied to Iraqi insurgents and is not supplied to those in Afghanistan. So any dealings with Russia should be done not with pre conceived notion that they are part of the world community but with some measure of distrust. If anyone here thinks that Iran has developed nuclear technology on their own without Russian help they are kidding themselves, and this serves to further show that giving anything away to Russia is a complete mistake.
     
  8. blu
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    blu Senior Member

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    maybe it was arrogance or lack of technical understanding b/c the WSJ article said they know of it since the 90s but didnt think groups they went after would get the technology to intercept them
     
  9. ☭proletarian☭
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    I coulda told ya that...
     
  10. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    blu, as I said in a previous post they got caught with their pants down, and of course someone is always going to develop counter-technology for anything you develop. If the DoD had become that short-sighted and given the Rumsfled years I would not be that surprised, to assume otherwise is dropping the ball in a big way.
     

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