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Thread: Hacker watches Nato spy pictures

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002

    Hacker watches Nato spy pictures

    From http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/aud...ght/newsid_204

    Hacker watches Nato spy pictures

    By Mark Urban
    Newsnight's Diplomatic Editor

    Nato surveillance flights in the Balkans are beaming their pictures over an
    insecure satellite link - and anyone can tune in and watch their operations

    The discovery was made last November by John Locker, a satellite enthusiast
    in north west England.

    John Locker tried to alert the US military

    He told Newsnight that he spent months e-mailing and faxing US and other
    Allied military officers to warn them of the dangers before finally deciding
    to go public.

    Our investigation produced responses from Nato and American spokesmen that
    the pictures were unclassified. They said they would reveal nothing of value
    to a potential enemy.

    One officer even told me that the broadcasts contained no information about
    the position or types of aircraft conducting the surveillance missions.

    Watch and learn

    Having reviewed many hours of pictures from recent operations, I can say
    this is quite wrong.

    The images contain a wealth of information

    The symbols around the edge of the pictures show the aircrafts' position,
    altitude and heading. Omitting this information would make the broadcasts
    useless to Nato intelligence analysts.

    What's more, regular watching of the satellite channels allows you to learn
    much about the technical capabilities of sophisticated spy planes like the
    P-3 Orion and unmanned drones such as the Hunter.

    During broadcasts by these aircraft, the letters 'P-3' or 'Hunt' are
    helpfully included on the bottom of the picture.

    I have seen some of these aircraft operating during my reporting from Balkan
    trouble spots, and would have assumed that the presence of aerial
    surveillance was usually revealed by the sound of an aircraft or drone

    Reviewing the Nato footage, it is apparent though that planes like the P-3
    can track a target from up to 20 miles away, through cloud, at night.

    Why is this secret trap door open ? Since official spokesmen will not even
    concede there is a problem, it is hard to get them to discuss how it might
    have occurred.

    New priority

    Instead contacts suggest that the timing of the unencrypted pictures' first
    appearance, 11 November 2001 is significant.

    America's response to the 11th September terrorist attacks was gearing up,
    and surveillance of Afghanistan began soaking up all the available military
    secure satellite channels.

    The US military have not introduced encoding even of the type used by
    commercial broadcasters

    Shunting the Balkan operations onto an insecure transmission was a matter of
    priorities, say analysts. The problem is, that doing so endangers a whole
    host of Nato operations ranging from hunting for Radovan Karadzic to
    stopping Albanian guerrillas infiltrating into Macedonia.

    It is surprising though that in all the months since John Locker started
    warning people that the signals could be pulled down by anyone using amateur
    equipment, the US military have not introduced encoding even of the type
    used by commercial broadcasters.

    The military procurement bureaucracy apparently cannot come up with a set
    top decoding box quickly enough.

    Who might be watching these transmissions, apart from retirees like Mr
    Locker ? Last month Nato raided two Bosnian Serb military installations,
    saying they were eavesdropping of the alliance's signals.

    Those able to monitor the transmissions around the clock - like a military
    intelligence department or guerrilla group - will learn much from them.

    At the very least the broadcasts allow a Karadzic or a smuggler to check
    before they step outside their front door whether any Nato surveillance
    aircraft are in the sky and what they are doing.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    I watched the UK's Newsnight program that this appeared upon. Hilarious, The geezer was not even a 'hacker', just a home satellite enthusiast who stumbled upon the unencrypted transmissions whilst messing about with his home digi box and dish.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Thanks for information! Great thread.
    [gloworange]Die, or surrender, either way won\'t work.[/gloworange]

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    I saw the pictures and it does not seem to be highly secure stuff. Perhaps after encrypting it, there will be less of an outcry. No biggie.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    ty for the read and the link
    By the sacred **** of the sacred psychedelic tibetan yeti ....We\'ll smoke the chinese out
    The 20th century pharoes have the slaves demanding work

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