Re: IRAN posts video from captured drone.

Message posted by greatguess on February 08, 2013 at 5:57:39 PST:

Let's think about this from a slightly higher level. If it were my toop secret recon drone what would I be most concerned about? My greatest worry would be to have my drone discovered doing it's job in the bad guy's airspace. If they find it, several bad things have happened. First, they now know I am watching them using the drone and will be watching for its brother Second, the existence of my drone is now not a top secret to the enemy anymore. Third, word will be leaked to the public and soon the whole World will know about my top secret drone and its use and existence would be used as a political weapon Ouch, ouch, and ouch..

Now let's think about the data it has collected before it was found. The data consists of pictures (and other data) of items the enemy owns and doesn't want me to know about. The enemy probably already has pictures of their stuff as well as the specs from whoever built it for them. The only thing I lose is the fact that I am looking (or sensing) certain things and now they know what they are.

I sent the drone to do a job and expected it to return home intact. If it doesn't it is almost certainly a smoking hole somewhere in the enemies soil. Most probably the drone, its data collection system, and the data it had recorded were destroyed in the crash. Is it worth the cost of complexity and weight to carry a self destruct system which might go off by accident? Probably not. Is it worth the effort to encrypt the data that it has collected and would need keys attached to it for the rest of its useful life along with the equipment/sw to decrypt it? Probably not. That's a security and operational design consideration made long before the drone ever flew. Don't think that money isn't a factor in the Black World - it is. Cost tradeoffs are made all the time and every tradeoff has its "cons" along with its "pros".

I worked in classified flight test for many (way too many) years and I never worked on a program where we encrypted the onboard recorded data. We always encrypted the telemetry (transmitted) data. That's a mich different environment since nobody was shooting at us trying to knock us out of the sky - that we knew of.....

Based on the logic I just wrote, it makes perfect sense to me not to encrypt the data onboard and to encrypt any data transmitted.

Does that help? I am sure, or hope, that someone will present an alternate approach and explain why my thought process is totally screwed up. That's 90% of the fun of this forum.


In Reply to: Re: IRAN posts video from captured drone. posted by Desert Watchdog on February 07, 2013 at 19:49:48 PST:


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