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Modi’s men ground UAVs fearing Drone Hacking

Discussion in 'National Politics' started by layman, Nov 18, 2013.

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  1. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    It was a security plan that was worked out in minuscule detail. Even the sky was not spared as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were to be deployed for an hawk-eyed vigil on the nearly two lakh crowd that would gather at the Palace Grounds. Dry runs were conducted and the results were also positive. But when BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi got into action-mode on Sunday, the UAVs remained grounded. Reason: The threat of a cyber attack!

    The Gujarat police team, which arrived in the city to oversee security arrangements for Modi rally, told the Bangalore police to scrap the idea of deploying UAVs for aerial surveillance as these machines were not `hacker-proof’. In fact, the fear of the Gujarat police stemmed from global reports about terrorist groups in Afghanistan and Iran hacking into the UAV communication network of the United States and capturing security-related details. According to police sources, Modi’s personnel feared that the security arrangements for the rally could be compromised following an intrusion through the UAV network.

    The Bangalore police had hit upon the idea of using UAVs to keep a watch on anti-social elements in the crowd. But Bangalore police commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar said: “We had a meeting among the senior officers and took a decision not to use UAV because of security reasons.†He did not explain the security-related shortcomings pertaining to UAVs.

    Additional commissioner of police (law and order) Kamal Pant said: “The Gujarat police were not supporting the use of UAVs stating these may not be technically sound. It is new thing in India and we are not sure of the instrument capacity and its reliability, so we dropped it for now.â€

    Interestingly, the shunning of UAVs by the police comes at a when military agencies across the world are are inducting more of these machines for surveillance-cum-strikes. The UAVs are being mounted with gigapixel cameras that provide real-time video streams at a rate of 10 frames a second. Cyber security expert Pierluigi Paganini, in a paper published on the website of the US-based InfoSec Institute, has stated: “Unofficial estimates reports that since 2004 the US has launched around 360 drone strikes in Pakistan and around 100 offensives in Yemen.†He quoted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on about 30,000 drones flying over the United States by 2020.

    In Bangalore too, several engineering students and scientists have been researching on developing UAVs. While UAVs were successfully used by the Mysore police to manage crowd during the recent Dasara procession, a UAV made its debut in Bollywood through the Aamir Khan starrer `3 Idiots’ where a quadcopter fitted with a camera was shown as a successful research experiment.

    However, in the recent times a lot of debate has kicked in over vulnerability of UAVs to hackers. According to media reports, the US woke up to the cyber threat four years ago when they arrested a militant in Iraq whose laptop had files of intercepted drone video feeds. The files had the non-encrypted communication that took place between the drone and the ground control station — apparently the communication systems had been hacked. This apart, a UAV could be subject to cyber attacks and be infected with malware — something that enables hackers to take control of the UAV without the knowledge of the original operator.

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  2. Himanshu Pandey

    Himanshu Pandey Don't get mad, get even. STAR MEMBER

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    the security of modi should be top priority and no stone will be left unturned for this
     
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  3. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Am sure security protocols will be strictly followed and that too after the earlier incident it would their prime objective. But UAV's should also be used for surveillance as they can loiter for hours and cover a wide area. If there is a fear of hack then they should secure the communication protocols btw UAV and ground station.
     
  4. Gessler

    Gessler BANNED BANNED

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    Good to know they are clever enough to keep tabs on developments across the world and respond to
    them accordingly before it's too late.

    If it was Congress, they won't even know that something called RDX exists until some Congress leader gets
    blown up by RDX. They are that dumb.

    I wouldn't like to be ruled by a dumb Congressi.
     
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