UAV video encryption remains unfinished job

The U.S. military is still broadcasting nearly half of its drone video streams without encryption four years after it learned that its adversaries can see the same information, reported Wired's Danger Room

Although military officials have been aware of the problem since the 1990s, the issue received widespread coverage in 2008 when U.S. warfighters discovered drone video footage on the laptops of Shi’ite militants in Iraq. The militants were actively intercepting feeds via a $26 piece of software, the story said. 

Four years later, only “30 to 50 percent” of America’s Predators and Reapers are using fully encrypted transmissions, a source familiar with the retrofitting effort said in the story.

The Pentagon and the defense industry have repeatedly assured the public that they would plug the security gap by retrofitting existing drones with new communications protocols and encrypted transceivers, the story said. But the entire fleet won't be secure until 2014, sources said in the story.

Defense Systems Update

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