London, Dec. 18 (ANI): Islamic terrorists have been able to hack into CIA state-of-the-art Predator drones with the help of just a 25.95 dollar off-the-shelf software, raising fears of remote control operated unmanned crafts being taken over and used against British and American targets.
While the insurgents were not able to control the 20 million dollar aircraft with their latest hacking techniques, they could watch live video feeds beamed back to US control stations through their electronic "eyeballs", The Times reports.
The paper quoted senior American defence officials as saying that the Predators had been compromised and admitted that the video feeds could give insurgents critical information about US targets overseas, including buildings, roads, and other facilities.
According to a report published in the Wall Street Journal, hackers were Iranian-backed Shias in Iraq, who used easily downloadable software, such as SkyGrabber, to capture the video feeds.
It is being said that the US military has known about the vulnerability of Predators for more than a decade but assumed that insurgents would not be sophisticated enough to exploit it.
But in December 2008, a Shia militant was arrested in Iraq whose laptop contained files of intercepted video feeds. Seven months later they found pirated feeds on other computers in Afghanistan, the paper said.
The Pentagon is now scrambling to encrypt all its Predator video from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. (ANI)