Hackers send ‘unexplained’ orders to German Patriot missile battery

This post is appearing on Autoblog Military, Autoblog’s sub-site dedicated to the vehicles, aircraft and ships of the world’s armed forces.

Well, this is absolutely terrifying. According to The Local, hackers attacked a German Patriot surface-to-air missile battery, like the one shown above, stationed along the Turkish-Syria border. The cyber attack caused the battery to carryout “unexplained” orders.

It’s believed that cyber attackers managed to exploit the Patriot battery in two different ways. The first exploit was through the Sensor-Shooter-Interoperability, which controls interactions between the actual, physical missile launcher and its control system, while the other was on the guidance chip. These weaknesses could have allowed the hackers to steal data or, more worryingly, actually take control of the battery.

That’s a highly troubling scenario, particularly following the attack on Malaysian Flight 17 over the Ukraine, not to mention worries over aviation security in the Middle East and North Africa. While those concerns focused on highly transportable, shoulder-fired SAMs, the Patriot is a far more dangerous weapons system – according to a BBC fact file, it can track up to 100 targets and send guidance data to nine individual missiles.

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