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Iran Press TV

Hackers take over Patriot missile battery in southern Turkey

Iran Press TV

Wed Jul 8, 2015 9:45AM

Unknown hackers have reportedly taken over the German-owned Patriot air and missile defense systems stationed in southern Turkey on the border with crisis-hit Syria, and given it unspecified commands.

According to a report published by German-language Behörden Spiegel magazine on Tuesday, the US-built systems, consisting of six launchers and two radars, were briefly compromised and carried out orders.

The report, however, did not provide any information about when the orders were carried out and what they were.

The German Bundeswehr armed forces has based its Patriot missile systems on the Turkish territory since 2013 in a declared bid to protect the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members against the spillover of the foreign-sponsored militancy in Syria.

Behörden Spiegel further said that the Patriot systems have two weak spots, which could be exploited by hackers.

The first one is the Sensor-Shooter-Interoperability (SSI), which is responsible for the information exchange between the missile launcher and its control system. Another weak point is the computer chip that controls the guidance of the weapon.

"These systems are not linked to public networks, they require special codes to fire the missile, which only a certain number of people have, and you generally need the code from two or three people to fire it, or to do anything that is of significance," said computer security consultant Jonathan Schifreen.

He added, "I don't think it's actually happened, which is not to say that some of these systems are not hackable in some way. It is possible in some way perhaps to detect the presence of it, but anything more than that is going to take some serious skills."

"It is certainly the case that foreign governments, intelligence agencies do try to hack into these systems, and it may well be that the software built into the missile has been compromised in some way by some foreign government," Schifreen said.

The Patriot missile system was first used by the US army over 30 years ago.


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