Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

US military drone security breach "fixed"-official - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The Pentagon has closed a security breach that allowed insurgents to hack into data feeds from pilotless “drone” aircraft that provide real-time video of war zones, a U.S. defense official said on Thursday.

The comments followed a report in the Wall Street Journal that revealed Shi’ite fighters in Iraq used software that cost as little as $26 to intercept the video feeds, potentially allowing them to monitor U.S. military operations.

“It is an old issue that was addressed and fixed,” the U.S. defense official said when asked about the article.

The article said U.S. military personnel in Iraq discovered the problem last year after apprehending a Shi’ite insurgent who had digital files of drone video feeds on his laptop. More files were found on other militants’ laptops in July.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman declined to discuss details of the article, or intelligence matters more broadly. But he defended the expanding use of drone aircraft in Iraq and Afghanistan, which provide “eyes in the sky” to track enemy movements and keep U.S. troops out of harm’s way. “Every capability comes with its advantages, disadvantages, benefits as well as potential weaknesses,” Whitman said. “As you develop those (technologies) you have to be mindful of how the enemy can counteract any technology that you have. That’s why you always have a constant review process in place to not only improve that capability but address any vulnerabilities it may have.”

Publicly traded companies that manufacture the pilotless drone aircraft and sensors include Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp and L-3 Communications Holdings Inc.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

More Posts

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle PlusYouTube