Encryption of Predator video feeds will take time

Air Force document indicates work won’t be completed until 2014

It could take as long as five years before video feeds from Predator drones are fully encrypted and U.S. forces are able to keep enemy forces from intercepting the information, reports Ellen Nakashima in the Washington Post.

U.S. forces uncovered over the past year a number of instances of Iraqi insurgents intercepting video feeds from Predator drones, the Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 17. The insurgents were able to intercept extensive video footage from the unmanned aerial vehicles by using inexpensive, off-the-shelf software.

The Air Force has begun encrypting the UAV fleet, but that work will not be finished until 2014, according to the Air Force Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Plan. The long-range plan released in July outlines the Air Force’s strategy for changes in doctrine, organizational structure, training, equipment, leadership, education, personnel, facilities and policy.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Dec. 18 that there has been no indication that U.S. military operations have been compromised by the intercepted video.

The insurgents were not able to interfere with the signal and command and control capabilities of the Predators but were only able to intercept a broadcast signal, Defense Systems reported.

 

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.