So much for y Security Clearance Working on our Drone Predator Back in 90’s!

Back in 1996 – 1998, I was one of the project managers at Yurie Systems in charge of enhancing the live video feed for the communication systems between our Pentagon and Bosnia to support our servicemen there. The project was so sensitive and secretive that every time I wanted to go to the bathroom to crap, I was required to sign in and out multiple times. This was a top secret project those days. Now, you see our work every where including the movie Transformers, etc. 🙂

Well, so much for all that sensitive crap! I just heard on CNN the Iraqi insurgents have been watching our service men on their large screen TV by intercepting the communication links coming from our Predator drones using only a $26 off-the-shelf software called SkyGrabber made by a Russian company called Skysoftware. What the f**k?

It looks like they hacked into an un-encrypted or unprotected communications link. The stolen video feeds tells me that the bad guys continue to find simple ways of counteracting our sophisticated military technologies. I recall the technical challenges we had using encryption for live video to be used by multiple users back in 1997, but I thought it was fixed by now. I guess not. More Crap!

What’s even more bizarre, our military discovered it last year and sharing it with us now! They found out about this when they apprehended a Shiite militant whose laptop contained files of intercepted drone video feeds. In July, the our military found pirated drone video feeds on other militant laptops, leading many of our officials to conclude that militant groups were regularly intercepting feeds.

The good News is none of our servicemen were compromised. At least, that is what our Pentagon says. I hope this is the wake up call for them to move their ass and start working on our encryption technology.

Those of you not familiar with our drone, here is a couple of related videos:
Predator Drones

Sky Warriors: The Predator

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @

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