June 1, 2009

Your Lack of Encryption Disturbs Me.

From a story on a Global Hawk emergency landing by Ares, the Aviation Week blog, comes this winner of a quote:
This is hardly the most dramatic in-flight emergency for the young UAS program. Earlier during testing of the Block 10, a Global Hawk conducted what appeared to be a standard self destruct sequence to the surprise of operators. They later discovered a radio tower at another base was testing its transmissions using a self-destruct code for the UAS. Though they were geographically separated, the UAS flies high enough -- around 65,000 ft. -- that the aircraft picked up the signal and followed orders, plummeting to its death. Needless to say, the testers at least got some data from that incident.
Wow. Let me get this straight - the 'self destruct' code for a Global Hawk is either a) something simple enough that another station might decide to pick it accidentally as a test pattern, or b) is something that said radio stations (assuming they are Air Force) have decided is a perfectly fine pattern to use for transmitter testing.

Either way, Houston, we have a problem.

Posted by jbz at June 1, 2009 2:59 PM | TrackBack

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