Ineffective JFK airport anti-terrorism security

Check out this video, courtesy of Yahoo! and ABC News:

  • A man horsing around on a Jet Ski in Jamaica Bay has a technical problem.
    It may be related to his drinking a few too many beers…
  • He ditches his water craft. Friends aren’t responding to his calls. It’s night
    and the sky is dark.
  • He swims toward the only thing he sees: runway lights at JFK airport.
  • He climbs out of water, over a fence, walks across 2 runways, past
    motion detectors, cameras and security guards. Still dripping wet and
    wearing a bright yellow life vest, he wanders into a back maintenance
    door of the Delta terminal—all without being detected.

I don’t find it hard to believe that a $100 million security system is flawed. But I would have thought that the weakness would be “social engineering”. That’s where an operative probes for individuals who can be fooled into weakening the perimeter, revealing passwords or even deactivating security systems.

During the past year, we have endured a lot of boasting about protective measures built into the travel process by Homeland Security, TSA, NYPD and the New York Port Authority. These organizations want us to believe that our money is well spent. And yet, without even trying, a 31 year old, tipsy water sport enthusiast waltzes past counterterrorism barriers of a brand new $100 million Airport security system.

If JFK truly has the latest technology, wouldn’t there be some kind of RFID/NFC badge on every authorized individual? I would think that each individual moving on the tarmac would be tracked and identified on an alarm console  just like planes in the sky.

I suppose that we can’t expect the latest, high-tech measures at every airport, but considering the boast of a 0.1 billion dollar, state-of-the-art security system, it seems reasonable that a slightly inebriated swimmer shouldn’t be able to get this far!

Incidentally,  Daniel Casillo, 31, was arrested for trespassing into a ‘secure area’. Obviously, he did no such thing! Wild Duck’s say: Give this guy a gold medal and pray that we learn from his swim lesson. Let’s also pray that Jihadists don’t use Jet Skis in Jamaica Bay.

Texas students hijack drone aircraft

Credit: Post based on writing for Geek.com

Missile launch is triggered from Sam’s iPhone

Look! Up in the sky…Is it a bird? a plane? No! It’s an unmanned Predator drone, hijacked by students! That’s right. Whiz kids from University of Texas at Austin took control of an aerial drone by altering its course.

The task was shockingly simple. Instead of hacking the primary control firmware, they fed its GPS mechanism a false signal, tricking the flying Al Qaeda hunter into heading wherever they wished, perhaps into the 3rd floor showers of the sorority. This was no fly-by-night operation (pardon the pun). The Department of Homeland asked students to try hacking the drone and gaining control. Was it expensive? It required only $1000 worth of equipment to seize control of a multi-million dollar piece of technology used by the US military and CIA.

The government became concerned about the vulnerability of drone aircraft after it became apparent that Iran had most likely taken control of a US drone and crashed it in Iranian territory several months ago. The Austin students, led by professor Todd Humphreys, used the GPS equipment to spoof the GPS signal being sent to the drone. Spoofing the signal means the students were able to trick the drone into mistaking their signal for the real one, allowing them to lead the drone astray. The aircraft being used employs the same unencrypted GPS signals used by government vehicles.

This hack presents a serious problem for proponents of using domestic drones. If any kid with $1000 and a little know-how can crash a drone into things or perhaps drop a payload!), well–that’s just not cricket. It is currently illegal to use drone aircraft in US airspace without special clearance from the FAA, and now it might take a little longer than expected for that to change.

RT via Popular Science