Iranian-Backed Insurgents Hacked Video Feeds of U.S. Drones with $26 Software

Senior U.S. defense and intelligence officials said Iranian-backed insurgents intercepted video feeds by intercepting unprotected communications links in some of the remotely flown drone aircraft systems by using $26 software that could be purchased online. Shiite fighters in Iraq used software programs such as SkyGrabber from the Russian company Sky Software to regularly capture UAV-drone video feeds. The U.S. government has known about the security breach flaw since 1993 in Bosnia, but a laptop confiscated from a Shiite militant last December contained drone feed evidence.

Newer ‘Reaper’ model drones are being developed and delivered to the military at about $10 to $12 million dollar per aircraft, which will also have to be retrofitted to provided a secure video communications link.