Iran managed to seize South American RQ-170 Sentinel due to the vulnerability of GPS

Not so long ago about the interception of Iranian military unmanned aerial vehicle RQ-170 Sentinel of the United States Air Force, which was forced to land in the Iranian countryside, appeared in the media. Last week, on Thursday the newspaper Christian Science Monitor an interview, published 1st of Iranian engineers, shed light on the technical aspects of the procedure interception.

In an interview told that with the help of conventional electronic warfare broke satellite link between land-based operators, which is located on the territory of the United States and the UAV. The program drone for such a situation provides for his transfer to the autopilot to return the unit to the base, located in the Afghan countryside. Naturally in the autopilot RQ-170 Sentinel is used to determine the location signals GPS. Replacing the unique signal system, Iranian military managed to fool the autopilot RQ-170 Sentinel, which made the landing on the Iranian countryside, finding that already arrived at its destination in Afghanistan.

Naturally, this technology "feat" of military professionals Iran received with considerable modicum of skepticism. This is, in principle, to be expected. But the replacement of the GPS signal is feasible, and the disregard for the military of the United States to the security of their own UAV is a known fact that not once confirmed. Suffice it to recall cases of infection by computer virus control systems and unmanned aerial vehicles to intercept transmitted from drones unencrypted video signals.

John Pike, president of, a professional in the field of satellite communications and data encryption over the plausibility of the above disk imaging expressed hesitation. System GPS as we know is a two-tier system. The first level is a system of universal use, its data is not encrypted. The second level of the system — the level used for military purposes. The transmitted data at this level is encrypted using cryptographically P (Y). Pike said that unsecured general purpose GPS signals can be substituted, but if experts at Iran would be able to break the code P (Y), they would not deal with an interception UAV. In this case they would have received with the tools for the application of large-scale attacks, such as to cause the collapse of the banking system of the United States.

But a loophole in the GPS case, however, and specifically it could use Iran's military. According to a professional in the field of GPS from the Institute of New Brunswick (Canada), Richard Langley Iranian spice was no need to crack the code P (Y). It turned out quite all just drown out the frequencies used for transmission of "military" system signals. In this case, the GPS-receiver UAV defected to the public signal, where he was waiting for a surprise with the replacement of the signal.

All of the above explains the fact why the RQ-170 Sentinel was made a hard landing, causing minor damage to its fuselage. Most likely, the replacement signal spices navigation system was not taken into account the difference in altitude Afghan base and height of the area where the drone landing was carried out.

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