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Iran official: We tricked the U.S. surveillance drone to land intact
Haaretz ^

Posted on 12/15/2011 10:32:48 AM PST by alex2011

"The GPS navigation is the weakest point," the Iranian military official told the Monitor, calling the downing an "electronic ambush" of secret drone.

"By putting noise [jamming] on the communications, you force the bird into autopilot. This is where the bird loses its brain," he added.

The engineer added that the Iranians were able to make the drone land "on its own where we wanted it to, without having to crack the remote-control signals and communications” from the US control center."

(Excerpt) Read more at haaretz.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: canada; drone; economy; iran; nuclear; oil; uav
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Basically what he says they did, was they jammed the communication link base-to-uav, and when the drone goes into fail-safe auto pilot mode. They spoof the GPS signal to make it think its in friendly territory to land. GPS is very weak signal from Geo Sync sats and is not encrypted. The drone obviously didn't have any other backup navigation like INS, or radio beacons, etc..
1 posted on 12/15/2011 10:32:53 AM PST by alex2011
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To: alex2011
GPS is very weak signal from Geo Sync sats and is not encrypted. The drone obviously didn't have any other backup navigation like INS, or radio beacons, etc..

I think I understand what is being suggested here, but aren't military GPS signals encrypted? Wonder how difficult that would be to 'crack'?

2 posted on 12/15/2011 10:36:35 AM PST by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
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To: alex2011

The Iranians are not quite as stupid as the Iraqis.


3 posted on 12/15/2011 10:38:05 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit))
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To: alex2011

This problem can be easily solved. Build a drone as a solid bomb and have them hijack it! Heh heh heh.


4 posted on 12/15/2011 10:40:09 AM PST by US_MilitaryRules (Unnngh! To many PDS people!)
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To: alex2011

Sounds like Tehran Bob is on the air...

We’re led to believe the drone’s signal was blocked, and in reaction it landed intact at an enemy airbase, without new programming.

I’m thinking the drone had backup programing, but I doubt seriously it included landing intact at a random enemy airbase so an enemy could have pristine access to all it’s technology.

This would make a great thing to place on a small paper, and wrap bubble-gum with.


5 posted on 12/15/2011 10:40:52 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Why back in '88, Conservatives backed Gore in Texas. What Reagan revolution? What laegacy?)
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To: Tallguy; alex2011
I think I understand what is being suggested here, but aren't military GPS signals encrypted? Wonder how difficult that would be to 'crack'?

I believe that extended accuracy info is encrypted. But if the signal-to-noise ratio is bad and it's getting garbage on the encrypted part but they were jamming it with viable coarse nav data, then the UAV just did the best it could with the data it had.

We are so far ahead we don't seem to be looking over our own shoulders.

6 posted on 12/15/2011 10:40:52 AM PST by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: Tallguy

with 256 bit encryption it would be practically uncrackable
in real time.


7 posted on 12/15/2011 10:41:04 AM PST by RitchieAprile
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To: dragnet2

But they are close!


8 posted on 12/15/2011 10:41:57 AM PST by US_MilitaryRules (Unnngh! To many PDS people!)
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To: US_MilitaryRules
So, what we did is send the Iranians a drone that's easy to subvert.

They will now copy it in the thousands.

9 posted on 12/15/2011 10:42:26 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: Tallguy

Most likely, not very due to the nature of GPS it Broadcasts same signal to every device, thus every device should have the same key to decrypt it. Since the data is very short to begin with,and the GPS system design is decades old,my bet is that it was not hard to either crack the key, or retrieve it from some Mil device. Unless they are using the Public-key crypto to authenticate the transmitter. However, its unlikely, because the system was build long time ago and designed for not very sophisticated receivers.


10 posted on 12/15/2011 10:42:26 AM PST by alex2011
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To: alex2011; All

Not really surprising.

Communications is always the Achilles heel of remote operations, of any kind.

You can bet the Chinese and Russians have been working on a solution for that, for a LONG time.

And it’s also why the idea of a pilotless fighter fleet is just fantasy.


11 posted on 12/15/2011 10:43:35 AM PST by tcrlaf (Election 2012: THE RAPTURE OF THE DEMOCRATS)
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To: alex2011

If true, why tell us. If that really was the weak link we can fix it. Why not say nothing and knock a few more down before we caught on?


12 posted on 12/15/2011 10:44:30 AM PST by RightOnTheBorder
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To: alex2011

Probably why it didn’t Self Destruct.


13 posted on 12/15/2011 10:44:56 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: alex2011; Tallguy; dragnet2; US_MilitaryRules; DoughtyOne; sam_paine; RitchieAprile
I’m thinking the drone had backup programing, but I doubt seriously it included landing intact at a random enemy airbase so an enemy could have pristine access to all it’s technology.

There was also an air crew not too long ago that had extensive backup training, and I doubt seriously that training included landing intact at a Chinese enemy airbase so an enemy could have pristine access to all it’s technology.


14 posted on 12/15/2011 10:46:55 AM PST by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: DoughtyOne
We’re led to believe the drone’s signal was blocked, and in reaction it landed intact at an enemy airbase, without new programming.

Hey, that's basically what they did and in the process obtained a lot of top shelf U.S. technology.

Trust me, the Iranians are a bit smarter than the Iraqis.

15 posted on 12/15/2011 10:47:05 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit))
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To: RitchieAprile

The GPS signal is not encrypted with anything close to 256Bit.
Not to mention all devices have the same key, so you can pre-crack it. That’s why you put redundant independent nav systems on those things,like Inertial Guidance, and radio Beacons installed on land bases, with much more powerful signal than you get from GPS.


16 posted on 12/15/2011 10:47:54 AM PST by alex2011
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To: alex2011
They might very well have done it. The fact that it landed safely in Iran kind of back up that story. If so, heads ought to roll for not think of that possibility. It still should have been destroyed though...

Mike

17 posted on 12/15/2011 10:49:34 AM PST by MichaelP (The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools ~HS)
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To: RightOnTheBorder
This is BS, the programing on the bird is to return to base if cut the way I understand. They are not telling what I think this article confirms which is they have hijacked our technology with the help of the Chicoms.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10/drone-virus-kept-quiet/

18 posted on 12/15/2011 10:50:38 AM PST by crosslink (Moderates should play in the middle of a busy street)
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To: alex2011
They might very well have done it. The fact that it landed safely in Iran kind of back up that story. If so, heads ought to roll for not think of that possibility. It still should have been destroyed though...

Mike

19 posted on 12/15/2011 10:51:00 AM PST by MichaelP (The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools ~HS)
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To: alex2011
The drone obviously didn't have any other backup navigation like INS, or radio beacons, etc..

If they were able to spoof the GPS signal, backup navigation systems wouldn't be activated.

20 posted on 12/15/2011 10:54:20 AM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: crosslink

it did return to base - the base was in Iran. The drone thought it was in Afghanistan, because Iranians spoofed the GPS signal — the only way it knows where it is in 3D space!

Unfortunately its a major screw up: in design of the drone,in operation,and then in not destroying the bird on the ground by the pResident.


21 posted on 12/15/2011 10:54:59 AM PST by alex2011
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To: crosslink

...or home grown muslims...


22 posted on 12/15/2011 10:55:28 AM PST by himno hero (Obamas theme...Death to America...The crusaders will pay!)
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To: sam_paine

Okay, so what you’re saying is that Iranian fighters pulled along side. One of them damaged the nose of the drone, the pilot killing himself in the process. The drone then followed the other aircraft because it was outgunned and feared for it’s own safety.

Well... okay. ;^)

I get it. **** happens. I’m not buying off that Tehran Bob’s **** happened.

Perhaps I’ll be proven wrong.


23 posted on 12/15/2011 10:55:56 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Why back in '88, Conservatives backed Gore in Texas. What Reagan revolution? What laegacy?)
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To: dragnet2

It was my understanding the drone was shot down. Has that been debunked?


24 posted on 12/15/2011 10:57:10 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Why back in '88, Conservatives backed Gore in Texas. What Reagan revolution? What laegacy?)
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To: MichaelP
They might very well have done it.

No maybe to it.

They did it.

25 posted on 12/15/2011 10:57:22 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit))
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To: alex2011

If the drone wasn’t over Iranian territory when they hi-jacked it, then that’s an act of war.

Proper retribution would be the complete elimination of the Iranian air force and missle systems.


26 posted on 12/15/2011 10:58:05 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: alex2011

It still wouldn’t have happened if Obama hadn’t refused permission to destroy it. He obviously wanted to give Iran and China a little prezzie. First the stealth helicopter that went down in Pokistan, and now this.


27 posted on 12/15/2011 11:00:01 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: alex2011

Probably why it didn’t Self Destruct.


28 posted on 12/15/2011 11:00:42 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Moonman62

Yes it would if you design it correctly. If you have 3 independent ways of navigation they take a a vote of where to go: 2 can always overrule 1. Thus if they just Jammed the GPS other nav system would have taken it to base. Having significant errors between at least 2 navigation systems, should initiate a self destruct of the drone. Thus Iranians would have to perfectly spoof ground beacons and GPS to get it — very unlikely. Also, its important to run the monitoring stations (that NSA responsibility) next to Iran to detect when they turn on their spoofing/jamming transmitters and deal with them — not that Obama would.


29 posted on 12/15/2011 11:01:50 AM PST by alex2011
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To: alex2011
Did you read the article I linked? Someone had a virus in the main controller of all of these birds. We have now had one lost and another hijacked in Africa. This type of virus has the ability to record and send all of the codes we use and how we connect to someone. I hope we ground all of these until we understand what was stolen.
30 posted on 12/15/2011 11:02:18 AM PST by crosslink (Moderates should play in the middle of a busy street)
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To: dragnet2

Wanna bet?

Only diff is language.


31 posted on 12/15/2011 11:02:18 AM PST by X-spurt
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To: alex2011

Did you see this? http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10/drone-virus-kept-quiet/


32 posted on 12/15/2011 11:05:19 AM PST by crosslink (Moderates should play in the middle of a busy street)
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To: crosslink

Don’t think its a Worm. The thinking is the Worm is some monitoring software installed by some branch of US Gov,just never reported to people who need to know. Taking the drone over the way Iranian is describing, is much simply technically than the Worm. So my bet is the Iranian is not BS’ing. The classified networks are Air Gabbed,even if you have Worm on it you can’t control it real-time to do bad stuff.


33 posted on 12/15/2011 11:10:01 AM PST by alex2011
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To: alex2011
Basically what he says they did...

Do you believe them?

34 posted on 12/15/2011 11:11:00 AM PST by TankerKC (Welcome to the age of "I Meant to Do That" Diplomacy)
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To: alex2011

just read a report about this..... a general says the welds are wrong, the landing gear is not shown, and the size is incorrect... this is a mock up, not one of our drones.... remember GI Joe....


35 posted on 12/15/2011 11:10:59 AM PST by joe fonebone (Project Gunwalker, this will make watergate look like the warm up band......)
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To: DoughtyOne
It was my understanding the drone was shot down. Has that been debunked?

Come on DO.

If it was simply shot down there would be little left of this drone. These things are really fragile.

After being hit with rockets/missiles, and then crashing, there would be nothing left but small pieces.

Ask yourself, why would the President of the United States ask for it back, if it was shot down and crashed?

Why are there all kinds of images of a fully intact U.S. drone with Iranians posing for pictures around it?

36 posted on 12/15/2011 11:14:09 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit))
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To: alex2011

Sooooo...does a military drone start to acquire the characteristics of its CIC? Maybe the drone was looking for a spot to take a vacation.


37 posted on 12/15/2011 11:14:55 AM PST by Spok (From hope and change to change is hopeless. In just the first term.)
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To: alex2011

Seems like what is needed here is a “Trojan Drone”.


38 posted on 12/15/2011 11:16:47 AM PST by Zeppo ("Happy Pony is on - and I'm NOT missing Happy Pony")
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To: crosslink
Someone had a virus in the main controller of all of these birds.

Where, specifically, did you get that information?

39 posted on 12/15/2011 11:18:43 AM PST by TankerKC (Welcome to the age of "I Meant to Do That" Diplomacy)
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To: TankerKC

here,http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10/drone-virus-kept-quiet/


40 posted on 12/15/2011 11:21:53 AM PST by crosslink (Moderates should play in the middle of a busy street)
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To: TankerKC

If Iran wants nukes, let’s give them a couple hundred.


41 posted on 12/15/2011 11:22:28 AM PST by DonkeyBonker
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To: dragnet2

Actually the Iranians have always taken quite well to computer technology. Had it not been for the Iranian Revolution they might be rivaling India today as an outsourcing center.


42 posted on 12/15/2011 11:23:30 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: alex2011
The classified networks are Air Gabbed...

Air Gabbed? What is that?

43 posted on 12/15/2011 11:25:20 AM PST by TankerKC (Welcome to the age of "I Meant to Do That" Diplomacy)
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To: alex2011; All
original source article for Haaretz article:

Exclusive: Iran hijacked US drone, says Iranian engineer

"In an exclusive interview, an engineer working to unlock the secrets of the captured RQ-170 Sentinel says they exploited a known vulnerability and tricked the US drone into landing in Iran."

44 posted on 12/15/2011 11:26:46 AM PST by thouworm (.)
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To: muawiyah
They will now copy it in the thousands.

Only of lower quality. This plays in quite well with Iran's statements in the past about "swarms" of air frames.

45 posted on 12/15/2011 11:27:50 AM PST by Michael Barnes (Obamaa+ Downgrade)
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To: RightOnTheBorder
If true, why tell us. If that really was the weak link we can fix it. Why not say nothing and knock a few more down before we caught on?

RIGHT ANSWER! I think this is cover for the possibility that our security has been cracked or hacked somewhere. I can not imagine a drone that would not return to base even if GPS was blocked by jamming. This could be done by inertial nav, or simple magnetic headings back to base.

I find the silence on our side deafening.

46 posted on 12/15/2011 11:29:13 AM PST by cpdiii (Deckhand, Roughneck, Mud Man, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist. THE CONSTITUTION IS WORTH DYING FOR!)
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To: dragnet2

I can’t answer that. I also can’t answer the ex-defense department individual that says the drone shown in photos is a fake. He addresses the visible construction variances that do not lend themselves to stealth.

If we actually had a drone land intact, it would seem we would take it out.

We don’t have to do that with another drone, or from low to the ground over-flights.

I’m interested to see how this plays out.


47 posted on 12/15/2011 11:29:49 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Why back in '88, Conservatives backed Gore in Texas. What Reagan revolution? What laegacy?)
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To: alex2011; All

IMHO...

They undoubtedly did what they said.

But they are not smart, the design is seriously deficient for combat.

(hint, hint, need 2 modes, combat and non-combat; before it gets shipped to combat, you take out the peactime module and stick in a combat module, which is identical except for distress logic).

Why can’t the big defense contractors think of this stuff ?????????????

And I notice the price of these things is still sky-high.

Ridiculous.


48 posted on 12/15/2011 11:31:06 AM PST by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves.)
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To: Buckeye McFrog
Actually the Iranians have always taken quite well to computer technology.

You bet.

We live in an era where everything is dependent on computer technology/wireless systems and networks. The scary part is our basic infrastructure is extremely vulnerable and can be manipulated as it's not hardened as much of our military stuff is, or is supposed to be. Our own government manipulates it. We're talking all the way down to the gas pumps, banking and retail cash registers.

The potential for causing absolute chaos and havoc to our systems, is beyond scary.

49 posted on 12/15/2011 11:33:01 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit))
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To: sam_paine
I believe that extended accuracy info is encrypted. But if the signal-to-noise ratio is bad and it's getting garbage on the encrypted part but they were jamming it with viable coarse nav data, then the UAV just did the best it could with the data it had.

That makes sense.

Having all the navigation eggs in that one basket doesn't.

50 posted on 12/15/2011 11:33:50 AM PST by null and void (Day 1059 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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