Iraqi Insurgents Hacking Drone Video

The Wall Street Journal reported that Iraqi militants are using a $26 piece of software to intercept live video from the drones, possibly helping them dodge or monitor U.S. mitary operations.
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It seems like there may be an issue with encrypting the video from U.S. drones flying above the battlefields of Iraq. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday (Dec. 17) that Iraqi militants are using a $26 piece of software to intercept live video from the drones, possibly helping them dodge or monitor U.S. military operations.

The Journal said that the intercepts have been happening since at least late 2008, when a computer seized by a Shi'ite militant contained imaged from the drones.

Unmanned drones have been widely praised for helping with the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, providing intelligence and attacking insurgents without risking the safety of a pilot.

The Journal cited one piece of software, SkyGrabber, that it said is available online for as little as $25.99.

According to the SkyGrabber Website, the software is an offline satellite Internet downloader.

"It intercepts satellite data (movie, music, pictures ) that downloadind [sic] by other users and saves information in your hard disk. So, you'll get new movie, best music and funny pictures for free," the site says. "You don't have to keep an online internet connection. Just customize your satellite dish to selected satellite provider and start grabbing. SkyGrabber has simple and attractive GUI, powerful filter system and flexible settings. If you want to have newest software for free, SkyGrabber is your choice."

The Website does not explain how it might deal with encrypted content.

The site does not clearly identify the company behind the software, but it does offer a Russian version of the site.

Other products from the company include LanGrabber, which "intercepts network downloads started by other users."

The complete Wall Street Journal article is here.

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