Tag Archives: encryption

Processing OpenStack GPG keys in Thunderbird

If you were part of the OpenStack keysigning party from the summit, you are currently probably getting a bunch of emails sent by caff. This is an easy way to let a key signer send you your signed key.

These are really easy to process if you are using Thunderbird + Enigmail as your signed/encrypted mail platform. Just open up the mail attachments, right click, and import key:


Once you’ve done this you’ll have included the signature in your local database. Then from the command line you can:

gpg --send-key YOURKEYID

And then you are done.

Happy GPGing!

Encryption, or lack there of, in military drones

There is a news story out there today about insurgents in Afganistan being able to use $26 worth of equipment to capture and record predator drone video reconnaissance.  At first I was pretty aghast by the following:

The potential drone vulnerability lies in an unencrypted downlink
between the unmanned craft and ground control. The U.S. government has
known about the flaw since the U.S. campaign in Bosnia in the 1990s,
current and former officials said. But the Pentagon assumed local
adversaries wouldn’t know how to exploit it, the officials said.

But then I thought about it a bit more.  By the time Bosnia happened the internet was just a fledgling thing.  The spread of information and cheap wireless tech was still pretty limited, and beyond that I’m sure these were designed well before that time.  Having no encryption on the video signal was an oversite, but given the state of tech, and the risk, probably a reasonable call.

However the article ends with:

Today, the Air Force is buying hundreds of Reaper drones, a newer model, whose video feeds could be intercepted in much the same way as with the Predators, according to people familiar with the matter. A Reaper costs between $10 million and $12 million each and is faster and better armed than the Predator. General Atomics expects the Air Force to buy as many as 375 Reapers.

Even before finding laptops full of predator video in Afganistan, it’s pretty clear that in this day and age you can’t put any manner of sensitive information unencrypted through the air.  Point to point wireless, cellular tech, and even Satellite TV have all gone encrypted in the mean time.  It’s a bit disconcerting that DishNetwork has better security than new drones that we are about to put out into the field.