Home » News » Assymetric Warriors » Hezbollah Claims it Hacked Israeli Drone Video Feeds (Updated)

Hezbollah Claims it Hacked Israeli Drone Video Feeds (Updated)

by Greg on August 10, 2010

Yesterday, Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah claimed Israel was behind the 2005 bombing that killed Lebanese prime minister, Rafiq Al Hariri. Part of the evidence for that claim, produced by Nasrallah for reporters, were still photos and video feed taken in 1997 from Israeli aerial drones hovering above Hariri’s home. While that might not be sufficient evidence to implicate Israel, it does show that Hezbollah was able to intercept Israeli drone feeds as far back as 1996.

Nasrallah said intercepts from Israeli UAV’s helped Hezbollah fighters ambush and kill 16 12 Israeli commandos on a mission in southern Lebanon in 1997. He said following that ambush, all Israeli drone feeds were encrypted; so it’s unknown whether Hezbollah is still able to hack the transmissions.

Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iraqi insurgent groups had intercepted U.S. drone transmissions using commercially available software via an unsecured communications link. Interestingly, the U.S. military discovered the vulnerability when they captured a Shiite militant whose laptop contained hours of intercepted video. Military and intelligence officials have said that Hezbollah agents provided bomb-making and other guerrilla know-how to Shiite insurgent groups in Iraq.

Hezbollah is considered the hybrid threat archetype: a non-state group armed with weapons and technology that has heretofore been the exclusive preserve of advanced militaries. During the war in south Lebanon in 2006, Hezbollah was able to listen into Israeli troop communications; although these were largely intercepts of cell phone conversations rather than hacking into encrypted radio communications.

Updated: This story on the Ynet news site provides more information on Nasrallah’s claims about Hezbollah’s 1997 ambush of Israeli commandos. The incident, known as the “Shayetet catastrophe,” resulted in the deaths of 12 commandos when Israeli troops walked into an ambush prepared with an assist from intercepted Israeli drone footage.

“We succeeded in analyzing these pictures, and assumed Israel was planning on operating there,” Nasrallah said. “Our men waited there for a few weeks, and on one of the nights the commando soldiers walked into the ambush we prepared.”

– Greg Grant

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

BozoJoe August 10, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I certainly hope the command/control signal fed into the UAV is encrypted

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DodgeCity August 10, 2010 at 4:51 pm

It's not the first time Hezbollah has produced "amazing" strikes on Israel. Who doesn't remember the golden nugget when they published pictures of how they sunk an Israeli corvette during the second Lebanon war. The pictures turned out to be of an Australian destroyer sunk as planned by aussie subs during an exercise.
http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/ind

When Hezbollah comes into play, checking one's sources can always be of interest.

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@Cr4shDummy August 10, 2010 at 5:51 pm

If their claims have any credence, then this furthers the need for better cyber warfare defenses.

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noquarter August 10, 2010 at 6:00 pm

LOL. Classic.

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Jacob August 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Well, how nice of Hezbollah to tell the world how it operates.

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Sam August 10, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Does anyone here support the Palestinians' fight for freedom from Israeli occupation? Why or why not?

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Rob August 11, 2010 at 6:36 am

Palestinians "fight" will do nothing but lead the world into plunder and dismay.

Yes many Americans are sympathetic to Palestinians right to live & have their own land, but USA will ALWAYS support Isreal fully

A 2 state existence is Palestine's only chance . Creating martyr's & keeping the dispute going will only keep things like they are now. Forever

It would take a mass plague ot nuclear homicide bomber to remove Isreal & then your great holy land wouldn't be very livable anyways.

I'm American and wish things were much different. Wish we never supported the formation of Isreal but it's been too long now & no place to move Isreal or the Palestinians.

Coexistence if your only hope and prayer of saving your homeland

Terrorists can kill every westerner they see & it will not protect their lands any moreso.

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Rob August 11, 2010 at 6:50 am

And just to add, Look what martyrdom had resulted in. Does Palestine hav any more land back, no.

Did it make us 'westerners' leave, no. It's bringing our army's into play

Did it gain Palestine more support? Yes from only hired killers, thugs & frankly this planets lowlifes. Most rather live with what they have & try to enjoy life.

People can moan about Isreali aggression and over use of power but they fight an enemy who plays by no rules. Follows none of the Geneva convetion. They cannot even except defeat when most of their past's leaders are now dead. They have no armed forces to forcefully take any land back. They have little support compared to Isreal. Get the F'n hint. Put down the guns , live your life to the best you can. While you are able.

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Nick Mastascusa August 11, 2010 at 9:55 am

You could argue that Gaza has succeeded in defending itself from further Israeli encroachment and has gained international attention, while the West bank is slowly being dissolved away by Jewish settlements and for the most part has fallen off everyone's radar.

It's still a pretty difficult choice though. Living a crappy, somewhat secure life watching your pseudo-country slowly disappear or living an incredibly harsh life defending and securing a little enclave for what you believe in.

Though no matter what they do they're a massive thorn in the side of our back. Their pointless struggle fuels insurgents abroad. We should try to convince Turkey or Egypt to send peacekeepers there or something, let them take the blame and in a best-case scenario, actually help steer the Palestinian people away from extremism.

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Billy August 11, 2010 at 6:55 am

why should anyone support the fight of people that are only out to hurt civilians? the goal of palestinian "libiration" is to destroy and take over Israel and kill every jew like muhammed told them to.
no-one in their right mind would support that.

i support a two state solution as was prepared in 1922, Jordan for the arabs and israel for civilised people.

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elgatoso August 12, 2010 at 1:30 am

No.We DON'T.Remember the Beirut barracks bombing!!!!

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Paul March 22, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Of course The Palestines are right in their struggle for freedom. The country was stolen from them and they want it back. Jewish controlled media call the Palestines fighting this righteous war terrorists. That might change in time to freedom fighters who need to be supported by NATO airstrikes on Israhell. That will be a day…. Will we live to see this? I don't think so, but it would be nice to follow this battle on Fox or CNN

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Yamash$ta August 10, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Wanton Israeli aggression will be their downfall.

Cracks me up how a state with hundreds of nukes, thermo-nukes at that, and the unconditional support of the sucker US tax-payer for $$billions of dollars in aid and free Apaches, F-16's, Hellfires and such, get's out-fought, out-maneuvered, and flat out dissed by a a few thousand cats with AK's. ATGM's and short range SSM's . Bibi and his zealots are losing sleep over how to further blackmail the world's lone superpower again.

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Yes Sir Soldier August 11, 2010 at 12:41 am

Who needs blackmail when you've got a nation of useful idiots braying their unconditional support for Israel's every move, and begging to pay for it, to boot? If anything, Israel will come looking for a bigger handout because Hezbollah has again upset their QME…

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Billy August 11, 2010 at 6:58 am

same thing applies to America in the stan and iraq.
obviously you have never served in the military.
this may be new to you but it's very hard to fight against fighters in civilian clothes who are hiding between kids and grannies.
so please try getting you head out of your …. (the place where the sun never shines)

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Locarno August 11, 2010 at 3:34 am

Interesting that this issue (unencrypted UAV video feeds) had supposedly come up as a major issue for a US ally ten years before the US noticed it themselves. Nice of them to mention it.

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Israeli August 12, 2010 at 9:10 am

It was common knowledge published in many reports and books.

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Mike Smith August 11, 2010 at 4:38 am

"Does anyone here support the Palestinians' fight for freedom from Israeli occupation? Why or why not?"

No, not until they grow up and renounce radical islam and its inherent terrorist ways. They're the scum of the earth cand they should be eradicated.

Whats next from you lefties? Supporting North Korea, seriosuly,how long before we see you lefties in NK ships and cities protecting the 'dear leader'..? Not long I guess as you'll go with anyone as long as they're against you America, Israel or "the west".

(awaiting my comment to be removed for going against the grain and being un-PC)

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Mathew August 11, 2010 at 6:42 am

by definition gaza is a concentration camp , supported by teh west – the last time such concentraion camps were on this scale nazi germany ran them – now the judeofacists running israel run them.

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yesjb August 11, 2010 at 6:52 am

You and your idiot friends never fail to jump on the anti-Israel band wagon no matter what led by that Jew hater/baiter Sam (Sami the Arab)
To compare Gaza to a Nazi concentration camp, you despicable POS shows your profound ignorance and that there is no difference between being anti-Israel and a rabid Jew hater.
It is people like you, and your running dog ignorant know-nothing cookie-cutter wackos that are the real Nazis.
You swallow every bit of crap about Jews as if it were gospel.
You are the real fascists and will bring America down to defeat. You're just to stupid to realize it.
And sami boy is coming in his pants over it!

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Mathew August 11, 2010 at 7:49 am

do the jack boots fit well? hows the cut of your long coat?

the time of the judeo-facists in israel is at an end – the true followers of Judaism have seen this and even now are striving to remove the judeo-facists which are driving the holy land of israel into the ground.

or does your own denial of your facist direction ignore this?

true jews are disgusted to what the regime in the Knesset are doing .

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yesjb August 11, 2010 at 11:26 am

The only people wearing jackboots are hamas and Hez'ballah or haven't you seen their parades.
They are the fascists who rule over Gaza and Lebanon in a vile, cruel totalitarian barbarism adopted from their Iranian puppet masters.
The only people saving the Gazans are the Israelis. They are the ones supplying the food, electricity, clothing and money to keep it afloat.
All Hamas has done is to steal, kill and run a corrupt dictatorship. They are a cross between the mafia and the Gestapo!
Its idiots like you and Sami the Arab who keep Gaza enslaved. But hey, just blame the Jews like you always do. Its your mantra.
FREE GAZA….from HAMAS!!!

Chuck August 11, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Hey, Matthew, how many Christians in Gaza? Why is it that the only prosperous Palestinians live in Israel? Why don't other arab countries allow Palestinians to inigrate and become citizens? Who's the friend of Hamas, Iran? Interesting company they keep. And what is it about sending rockets indicrimantly into cities that suggests they are peace loving? And why should Israel act any differently under the circumstances. You are ignorant until you understand the answer these questions.

Billy August 11, 2010 at 7:00 am

you must not have visited there, i have family that lives there and they tell me there is enough food, medicine and other daily goods to live well. the only threat is the constant harrasment of hamas against their own people taking away all their freedoms and killing anyone that does not agree with hamas.
maybe you should try to stop believing CNN and get informed from honest eyewitnesses.

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Matt Musson August 11, 2010 at 5:25 am

Good. Now they can track the drone as it blows them into little tiny Persian bits.

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Mathieu August 11, 2010 at 8:17 am

Holy Cow! You guys sure tooka left turn on this one!
Back to the actual article – it amazes me that these feeds, downlink AND uplink were EVER not encrypted? When it came out that US drone feeds were not encrypted the contractor came out and said, "Well it's not our fault, encryption wasn't in the request."
What is the point of hiring a contractor that is supposed to be an expert in the field when they can't offer basic security tips like that?
Shameful.

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blight August 11, 2010 at 9:05 am

I’m beginning to wonder of such qualifies as treason equivalent to leaking military communications on the web…?

Hezbollah has always been a scary little group, maybe in more ways than al Qaeda.

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David August 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Thx once again for screwing us Israel!

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Ben August 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Please explain yourself, we use different UAV's, Israeli UAV's are home made.
And yours are 100% US made, so blaming Israel for not telling you about encryption is stupid. And you never know what actual info is exchanged

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@mika2k1 August 11, 2010 at 5:06 pm

What, don't tell me weapons sales to Saudia and the rest of your degenerate islamo-nazi theifdoms are down.

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Cannon Fodder August 11, 2010 at 9:06 pm

I support Israel in their fight against the Islamic Borg. Muslims are intent on destroying Israel, because their belief system says for Muslims to kill the Jews. If they could destroy Israel, they will continue to erode western society like they are doing in several european countries already.

Now, they want to build a 9/11 victory mosque in NYC. Oh, they want to open it on 9/11 and it is named after the first mosque built in Spain. Time to wake up boys and girls…

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Jay August 12, 2010 at 3:25 pm

I would not be surprised if the Hizballah guys working with the Mexican drug smugglers are using this "feature" on the drones we use to watch the southern border.

Is there a way to pinpoint and jam the intercept device?

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Infidel4LIFE September 7, 2010 at 1:06 pm

the moslems won't recognize Israel's right to exist. WHY would anyone expect peace to break out? This one's going all the way, and when they start tearing down the Al-Aqsa mosque expect the worst. Religion will kill us all..better them than me.

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Infidel4LIFE September 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm

This fence and BP, Nat. guard is needed to shut the border. When i watch Nat Geo, all these BP police are doing is stopping marijuana smuggling. All that $$ spent coz of a weed that grows naturally. Why not seize the kilos of heroin coming thru everyday? Its stupid. Legalize and regulate. Marijuana is the LEAST of our problems. WTF!!

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bruce November 9, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Turban or no,12 Israeli commados aint' going back to Lebanon.

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Angel September 9, 2014 at 3:07 pm

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Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

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Locarno August 11, 2010 at 3:31 am

Pious but irrelevant as that statement applies to neither side.

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mat August 11, 2010 at 11:25 am

Religius loonies are all the same ,christian, muslim,jew whatever ,problem lies in concept of religion that is just a big scam a bussines and a way to influence people .

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William C. August 11, 2010 at 11:58 am

So should we be a bunch of atheistic degenerates as an old friend of mine would describe it? I think not.

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anonimous August 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm

YOU forget again your meds!!!

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Ben August 11, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Ivan Durak, 4to malo vodki vipel? Ili naverno perebral s utre4ka?

Before you speak about imaginary wrongdoings of others, you should check up on your fellow Chechens, and MILLIONS of peoples that were displaced by communist party.

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Cannon Fodder August 11, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Yeah, like the Russians are any better. Everyone does realize they had an agreement with Germany in the beginning of World War II to attack Poland from the East, while Germans attacked from the west. Germans thought Russians were weaker than they were after invading Poland and decided to attack them.

Then Russia cried for help and became our "ally". Then after the war, helped themselves to the majority of the countries that they "liberated"…

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Ivan Chernyakhovsky August 11, 2010 at 1:31 pm

If you are talking about meds, you probably know about what you are talking!!!

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