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Taliban Finds New Ally in an Unlikely Place, the Porn Industry

Taliban Finds New Ally in an Unlikely Place, the Porn Industry - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Taliban Finds New Ally in an Unlikely Place, the Porn Industry - top government contractors - best government contracting eventDespite a seeming contradiction, Taliban insurgents are able to get aid from an unlikely source, the porn industry. Late last year, news reports suggested that insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan are able to intercept live video feeds from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) using commercially available technology. It turns out, the commercial technology used by insurgents, SkyGrabber, is used in Eastern Europe to intercept pornography being downloaded by other users.

SkyGrabber allows users to intercept and download movie downloads, text messages and images and saves the data to the users hard drive. It allows the user to circumvent “˜pay-to-play' websites commonly used in the pornography industry. The software does not require a user to have an Internet connection, instead utilizing satellite technology.

According to the SkyGrabber website, “SkyGrabber is offline satellite internet downloader. It accepts free to air (FTA) satellite data (movie, music, pictures) by digital satellite TV tuner card (DVB-S/DVB-S2) and saves information onto a hard disk. So, you’ll get new movie, best music and funny pictures for free.“ The technology is quite cheap, costing around $25-$30.

The vulnerability in the UAV feeds is a problem of encryption. Presently, the video feeds from the drone are not encrypted during transmission, allowing anyone with the SkyGrabber technology to intercept and view the video feeds. The US has known about the vulnerability since the peacekeeping mission to Bosnia in the 1990s. However, the military believed that our adversaries would not be capable of exploiting it.

Nevertheless, the military is now moving quickly to rectify the problem. Some experts have pointed to the benefits of this vulnerability being highlighted now. In a recent interview, Jim Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies said “The good news is that we learned our lesson now and not against a more sophisticated opponent. You can assume that if the insurgents were listening in off their laptops, other people were listening in as well.“

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Written by Jim Garrettson

Taliban Finds New Ally in an Unlikely Place, the Porn Industry - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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