When I saw the headline for this article, my eyes almost popped out of my head.  What?? How is this even possible.  After reading the article, I’m still at a loss.

First, here’s what the WSJ is reporting: insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan have used off-the-shelf software to intercept video feeds from military drones.  The US acknowledges that the video isn’t encrypted and says that the problem has been known since Bosnia in the 1990s:

The U.S. government has known about the flaw since the U.S. campaign in Bosnia in the 1990s, current and former officials said. But the Pentagon assumed local adversaries wouldn’t know how to exploit it, the officials said.


You realize what this means: any ecommerce shopping site on the Internet is better protected than our military’s own drone system.

I still can’t believe it’s been this long and the problem still hasn’t been solved.  I know it adds additional processing requirements to encrypt live video data, but surely the military (with their vast budget) could come up with something.  We’re not even talking 256-bit encryption here: it could be minimal.  But something!

I’m still at a loss as to how this could have happened.  The only plausible explanation (outside of complete oversight, which I doubt) is that it was more difficult to install the kind of processing necessary to encrypt the video feeds.