All is takes is $26 worth of software and satellite dishes and anyone can track what US warplanes and drones are seeing. How could this be? It’s because data sent from the planes to the ground is not encrypted. The military has known about this vulnerability for years but chose to ignore it. Now they’re engaged in desperate CYA. Yesterday they said the feeds couldn’t be encrypted. Today it appears they don’t trust their own troops. I think the real story is a leaden, ponderous bureaucracy made a really stupid mistake and instead of just admitting it and saying we’ll fix it fast, will just make things worse by clumsy PR.
“Can these feeds be encrypted with 99.5 percent chance of no compromise? Absolutely! Can you guarantee that all the encryption keys make it down to the lowest levels in the Army or USMC? No way,”adds a second Air Force officer, familiar with the ROVER issue. “Do they trust their soldiers/Marines with these encryption keys? Don’t know that.”