Iraqi insurgents using $26 software to monitor Predator video feeds
We can't say we've ever heard of a $26 Russian program called SkyGrabber before, but it's about to get famous real fast -- according to the Wall Street Journal, Iraqi insurgents have been regularly using the satellite-snooping software to monitor live Predator video feeds. Apparently the Predator transmits video over an unencrypted link, so there's no major hacking or security breach going on here, but it's obviously a huge issue -- and we'd say the bigger problem is that Pentagon officials have known about this flaw since the 1990s, but they didn't think insurgents would figure out how to exploit it. Way to underestimate, guys. The WSJ says the military is working to encrypt all Predator feeds from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, but it's slow going because the Predator network is more than a decade old and based on proprietary tech -- too bad it's not proprietary enough to keep prying eyes out of it.
In other words, those ragged insurgents are smarter than, say, 98 per cent of Canada's Blogging Tories. And I'm being generous.
P.S. "Proprietary tech"? Another good argument for open source, methinks.