Eye on Security

By Sebastian Sprenger / January 26, 2010 at 5:00 AM

In the wake of reports about extremists in Iraq tapping into the video feeds of unmanned military drones, defense officials want to ensure the cybersecurity aspects of unmanned areal vehicles are addressed in military doctrine.

Communications links with overhead drones are "more critical" than those with manned aircraft because there is no pilot to take over the plane when the connection with the ground station gets lost or compromised, notes a Jan. 12 joint publication titled "Command and Control for Joint Air Operations."

"Communications security, and specifically bandwidth protection (from both friendly interference and adversary action) is imperative," the document states, in bold letters.

In general, unmanned aircraft should be treated "similarly to manned systems with regard to the established doctrinal warfighting principles," according to the document, reported today by Secrecy News.