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Iranian Military Says It's Copying US Drone

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the so-it's-sort-of-a-buzzing-noise dept.

Government 350

New submitter skipkent writes "Iran's military has started to build a copy of a U.S. surveillance drone captured last year after breaking the software encryption, Iranian media reported on Sunday. General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division, said engineers were in the final stages of decoding data from the Sentinel aircraft, which came down in December near the Afghan border, Mehr news agency reported."

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350 comments

I for one.... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763385)

Welcome our new Persian Robot Overlords.

Send the MPAA (5, Funny)

qbast (1265706) | about 2 years ago | (#39763397)

It's obviously a copyright infringement. If we are lucky, maybe Iranians will just shoot them.

Re:Send the MPAA (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763489)

You're thinking way too small. We can also get Patent attorneys into the fight. Then, if we can get the whole war moved to the Eastern district of Texas, we'll have the home turf advantage.

Re:Send the MPAA (2)

lennier1 (264730) | about 2 years ago | (#39763495)

I wouldn't put any money on Iran, yet.
Even the guys in the Iranian government aren't as fucking crazy as that bunch.

Re:Send the MPAA (4, Funny)

CanEHdian (1098955) | about 2 years ago | (#39763709)

It's obviously a copyright infringement. If we are lucky, maybe Iranians will just shoot them.

You're almost right. Terrorists? Oh who cares! WMDs? Sooo 10 years ago. But.... this is copyright infringement! And it is also circumventing an effective protection device ("digital lock")!! That means war! Send in the troops!

DMCA violation? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763421)

If only it were the RIAA or MPAA instead of the CIA, then Iran would be in serious trouble.

Release the drone.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763423)

#1 I doubt it .....
#2 who is running things over there, Dr. Evil ?
#3 In the extremely unlikely event that they somehow figured it all out - why on earth would you tell everyone ?

Re:Release the drone.... (4, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#39763541)

#3 In the extremely unlikely event that they somehow figured it all out - why on earth would you tell everyone ?

It increases status, and is a deterrent. Win on all sides.

Re:Release the drone.... (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#39763723)

Its a big remote control plane backed up by sticks and rocks. Oooo scary.

Re:Release the drone.... (1)

Gription (1006467) | about 2 years ago | (#39764005)

If they do manage to make drones and start using them it will just add cover for ours. They won't know what to shoot at.

Re:Release the drone.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763547)

3. Because shoving our noses in it is the only useful thing they really get out of it.

Open Source (5, Interesting)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 2 years ago | (#39763457)

It would be funny if they Open Sourced it.

Re:Open Source (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#39763471)

In a way, they will. China will no doubt show up with this first.

Re:Open Source (4, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#39763943)

I'm fairly sure China already has it. These days they most likely had a copy of the plans and the software before the first one was even flown.

Re:Open Source (2)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#39764115)

It's not unthinkable that they wrote it in the first place. Either on contract, or the US stole it.
(Espionage goes both ways - it's not only the other side that participates in it.)

Anyhow, it's not a copyright violation unless the code is copied. If it's just studied and you write your own software, they should be in the clear.
And the Iranians are certainly not bound by any EULA preventing disassembly - it's not like they bought the plane.

Re:Open Source (5, Insightful)

Zackbass (457384) | about 2 years ago | (#39763673)

That strikes more at the heart of the issue here than you may realize. The actual aircraft sitting in their hands is much closer to a compiled binary than source.
You can poke at it, run it, look inside and try to reverse engineer it, but the real secret sauce that goes into making drones like this is the design/manufacturing techniques and massive high tech industrial base that are necessary to produce the components. The aircraft's engine isn't likely going to give up the secrets of directional crystal growth that go into manufacturing the turbine blades, and the camera's CCD isn't likely to yield the secrets of semiconductor fabrication necessary to produce another one.

Re:Open Source (4, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 years ago | (#39763893)

They can probably buy most of the components off the shelf. I doubt they would have to build a semiconductor fab or turbine "directional crystal growth" thingies.
Small jet engines are readily available (every airliner has one as an auxiliary power generator unit)... same for CCD cameras and lenses. GPS, CPUs and memory are commodity parts. The airframe can be easily reproduced since they have a real model to work from.
The hard part will be the software that ties it all together and they seem to have made some progress on that front. This could be interesting. I do hope they open source whatever they decompile / reverse engineer / create. I'm sure the open source community would love to have a "drone stack" to work on.

Re:Open Source (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#39763935)

Most of that stuff is manufactured in China anyway, and the stuff that isn't they probably already stole the design documentation for anyway.

Re:Open Source (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#39763975)

isn't likely to yield the secrets of semiconductor fabrication necessary to produce another one.

No, but it provides a blue print for what the finished product should look like, which can accelerate parallel development; If I asked you to design a replica of a Lamborghini, I'm sure your efforts would be a lot more successful if I gave you an actual car as opposed to just pictures of it.

Re:Open Source (1)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about 2 years ago | (#39764133)

As I heard it they got the Russians and Chinese to take a look when they first acquired it. It would make sense to collaborate with them to try to reverse engineer it.

Doubtful they have "reverse-engineered" anything (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 2 years ago | (#39763835)

The most I can see them doing is build a mockup that looks like it, showing it flying, and then the entire world concluding, "OMG, they copied the US drone!!!111" — except that it won't contain any of the systems and technology aboard the RQ-170.

Would be a great propaganda victory for Iran, though. Which is exactly the sort of thing they're looking for. Iran's playing up the drone story again, this week saying that Russia and China are aggressively seeking information about it [yahoo.com], and then two days later making this "announcement"? With Iran claiming it used a force field and "advanced space technology" to down the drone [wired.com] (and no, this isn't simply a failure of the translation), nothing is too surprising.

Of course, US drones have been flying over Iran for years [cbsnews.com], and drones are still flying over Iran after the RQ-170 incident [iran-times.com].

Interestingly, as the Western press and pundits hyperventilated over the loss of the drone, Iran's state-controlled media and spokesmen repeatedly changed and finessed their story to fit with the most panicked narratives of "what might have happened".

Logic would dictate that the drone simply malfunctioned and crashed, or at absolute MOST had its control link jammed — a known vulnerability of UAS — and was not brought down in a controlled fashion, nor has been "reverse-engineered".

Re:Doubtful they have "reverse-engineered" anythin (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39764025)

They claim they jammed the control signal and spoofed the GPS (jammed the encrypted signal and spoofed the unencrypted signal which the drone fell back on). The drone then circled (possibly) and eventually decided to return to base and land, which happened at the spoofed location inside Iran. Do you really find that so extremely difficult to believe? Why do you think "logic dictates" that this is a lie? Alternatively, why do you think this doesn't qualify as bringing the drone down in a controlled fashion?

Re:Doubtful they have "reverse-engineered" anythin (1, Insightful)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about 2 years ago | (#39764197)

Logic doesn't come to any such conclusion unless there is already bias in the observer, which with your use of the words "panicked narratives" would indicate that you are.

The way I see it, they appear to have an undamaged US drone (and I tend to associate crash and aircraft as resulting in lots of bits), which the US by claiming it back seems to have verified. Beyond that everything is speculation because politics and propaganda gets involved.

Go ahead. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763837)

It would be funny if they Open Sourced it.

Go right ahead. You still wouldn't get very far - even if you reversed engineered the code that fly it.

You see, there's also all the engineering with the airframe, avionics and the materials all the technology and science associated with those items.

Then there are the machine tools and other tooling and processes to actually construct it.

The closest analogy I can think of (sorry that it's not a pizza or car) would be a nuclear weapon. They're easy, right? Slam one piece of U235 into another with some dynamite until you get critical mass and BOOM! First, you got to enrich the Uranium.

Good luck with with that.

Remember the scene in Iron Man 2? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763467)

Where Tony Stark pulls up the footage of other countries trying to duplicate his armor? Why do I have a feeling this is going to go something like that.

goodluckwiththat (0)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about 2 years ago | (#39763477)

They might be able to copy the drone's form and appearance but the materials and electronic guts are way beyond their understanding.

Re:goodluckwiththat (4, Interesting)

skipkent (1510) | about 2 years ago | (#39763535)

But not beyond China's. Iran and China are best buds, I'd imagine China is behind this, letting Iran wave their dick around since we've been harassing them endlessly for a while. This story http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/checkpoint-washington/post/probe-traces-bogus-military-parts-to-china/2011/11/07/gIQAmxglvM_blog.html, talks about counterfeit Chinese parts making their way into the weapons supply chain, with all the outsourcing we do to China, I'm sure their taking our tech and applying it elsewhere.

Re:goodluckwiththat (4, Insightful)

JosephTX (2521572) | about 2 years ago | (#39763593)

Why, because only Americans are ingenious enough to be engineers? Just because it's beyond your understanding doesn't mean it's beyond someone else's even if they are from a country you seem to judgmentally believe can't have smart people.

And good for them. What were we even doing sending drones into that country in the first place? Because "they're making nukes"? Even if Iran made a nuclear bomb, that would do nothing more than.. put them on equal footing with every country surrounding them who also has a nuclear bomb (most of which got theirs directly or indirectly from us). Frankly, any country spending $600 billion/year on the military doesn't get to cry when other people reverse-engineer the technology we're using to push them around.

Re:goodluckwiththat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763995)

It's not a matter of intelligence, it's a matter of missing intermediate steps. If you were to transport the drone back to 1940's America (when we were making *our* first nukes) we certainly wouldn't have been able to duplicate it.

Re:goodluckwiththat (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#39764027)

Why, because only Americans are ingenious enough to be engineers?

I've met some very smart and capable "Persian" engineers. They don't live in Iran, though :)

Seriously, a lot of the smartest and best-educated Iranians no longer live in the country, and probably won't unless the place changes politically.

Think about it - if your home country had a regime like Iran's and you had the means to live just about anywhere else, would you stick around? And if you did, would you work for that regime? There are selfish smart people (duh), but a significant portion of smart people want nothing to do with such a regime.

Re:goodluckwiththat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39764171)

I've met some very smart and capable "Persian" engineers. They don't live in Iran, though :)

I know one that does. His H1-B expired, and he had to leave his high tech job here, and go home by the route of India.

Re:goodluckwiththat (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 2 years ago | (#39764173)

Even if Iran made a nuclear bomb, that would do nothing more than.. put them on equal footing with every country surrounding them who also has a nuclear bomb

Hear hear! The sooner they get a nuclear bomb, the sooner I'll quit hearing about how we might or might not go to war in Iran (we won't be going to war in Iran). The US going to war in Iran is just such a stupid fucking idea, but it seems like a good one to the neo-cons because Israel wants it.

Re:goodluckwiththat (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763613)

Oh yes, american drones are sooo advanced its like magic to the rest of the world. In the whole of the country they won't be able to find even one person, not even one educated abroad who can work it out. No way. That drones so advanced not even the americans could keep it in the air.

Re:goodluckwiththat (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#39763753)

If they are really that smart, they are probably better off making their own from scratch.

Re:goodluckwiththat (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about 2 years ago | (#39764161)

Oh yes, american drones are sooo advanced its like magic to the rest of the world.

Where do you live? This issue seems to have really touched a nerve with you. It's OK, we understand.

OK This Pisses Me Off (4, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | about 2 years ago | (#39763663)

I have worked for a number of companies that thought their employees were so much smarter than everyone else that no one could possibly understand their code by disassembling it. That's wrong.

In this particular game, yeah, they'd be right if they were talking U.S. programmers whose experience was Java, but people who had to deal with old hardware where memory locations mattered, no. I sometimes wonder at Apple folks who believe no one but them understands ARM assembly. I know at least three Russian programmers personally who can quote hex codes for ARM instructions for pretty much everything you'd want to do. I am guessing I am not connected enough to know them all.

People in the third world are at a significant advantage. They deal with the hardware and know what the hell they are doing. I personally blame the change in accreditation standards that caused U.S. people to concentrate on being rather than doing. Theory is great until you have to engage in total war.

I personally expect a wave of smart people to wash over the U.S. any time soon. The only question is whether they will have U.S. visas or if they will be employed by a foreign power.

-- Terry

-- Terry

Re:goodluckwiththat (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#39763741)

The materials and electronic guts are way beyond the understanding of pretty much every American, too. They're sure to be way beyond *your* understanding.

Re:goodluckwiththat (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#39764073)

Why do you say that? Iran's been investing a lot in science and tech over the last decade or two. They're ranked 15th in nanotech, and are pretty capable in robotics.

Re:goodluckwiththat (1)

Spliffster (755587) | about 2 years ago | (#39764075)

Are you aware, that iran is constructing and building fighter jets? I am always amazed by the broad underestimation of iran, just because they are the bad "towel-head" terrerists (for some people).

Re:goodluckwiththat (1, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | about 2 years ago | (#39764187)

Are you aware, that iran is constructing and building fighter jets?

Yes, so did we, over sixty years ago. "Building fighter jets" is not the same as "building fighter jets that have even a fraction of a chance of prevailing against those built in the US, in an actual fight involving real fighter jets."

Re:goodluckwiththat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39764169)

Not all high tech is in the field of electronics.
And material? They got a superconcrete who renders bunker busters useless
UHPC [rt.com]

The bastards! (3, Funny)

golodh (893453) | about 2 years ago | (#39763517)

They're infringing our copyrights!

Now I suddenly understand the strategic importance of ACTA. If they'd signed ACTA, we'd nail 'em when they tried to sell their cheap knockoffs to the Chinese, the Russians, the North-Koreans, the Pakistani, the Venezuelans, the Cubans, the Jemenites, the Hamaz guerilla's, and ... .

You know what they say about gifts or horses (1)

Sollord (888521) | about 2 years ago | (#39763531)

"All is as we have foreseen" mutters Leon Panetta as he leans back in his chair petting his cat in a darkened conference room.

"Yes... Take my gift... into your arms"

MWAHAHAHA

why isn't Obama being impeached? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763553)

Why isn't Obama being impeached for illegally transferring sensitive technology to the Iranians. Anyone who thinks this was an accident is a fool...

Re:why isn't Obama being impeached? (1)

skipkent (1510) | about 2 years ago | (#39763605)

Are you kidding, we probably had this thing land their on purpose knowing this would happen. We've been looking for an acceptable way to occupy Iran for quite some time. This would be a win for both sides, who would want to change presidents with a new war breaking out, and on the GOP side, people think they will "Get the job done." Save for Ron Paul, everyone is looking for a chance to jump at Iran.

Re:why isn't Obama being impeached? (0)

ronpaulisanidiot (2529418) | about 2 years ago | (#39763659)

Save for Ron Paul, everyone is looking for a chance to jump at Iran.

sure, ron paul won't use the us army to attack iran. however, when the industrial arm of the military-industrial complex says it wants to go get its drone back by sending over their own employees, ron paul won't stop that. the rest of the world will see it as an act of war, but ron paul will still claim himself ideologically pure.

Re:why isn't Obama being impeached? (1)

Kythe (4779) | about 2 years ago | (#39764147)

Dumbest comment I've seen on the Internet in a while. And that's saying something.

They're like children with a new toy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763575)

No concept of OPSEC, for one. You get a leg up on the Great Satan and the first thing you do is announce it to the press?

Secondly, even if they do reverse engineer it, they won't have the science and research which went into developing the technology. They might be able to learn how it works, but they won't understand why. And thus, they'll be able to produce duplicates of this drone while the U.S. continues to develop more advanced drones. This is basically what the Soviet Union did in trying to keep up with us. We remember how that worked out.

This Conflict could have been prevented... (3, Insightful)

dryriver (1010635) | about 2 years ago | (#39763625)

While Dubya was in office in the U.S., Iran had a President named Mohammed Khatami. Unlike Ahmedinejad, Khatami was a moderate cleric in favor of womens' rights, political reforms, greater freedoms for Iranians, and other moderate ideals. Khatami also was no opposed to political cooperation with the United States, or at least the restoration of diplomatic relations. Bush could easily have reached out a (limited) hand of friendship, and Khatami might very well have shaken it. Relations between Iran and the U.S. could have improved markedly. What happened instead? Bush's Neocon advisers wanted no cooperation/relationship whatosever to develop with Iran. They wanted to maintain Iran's status as an "Enemy of the United States" (perhaps because Israel was also adamant that things be so, and Iran stay politically isolated). So Dubya never reached out to Khatami politically, and actually did the diametric opposite: Iran was included in post 9/11 America's new, and somewhat stupid concept of a "Axis of Evil" that's messing up everything for everyone. No relationship between the U.S. and Iran whatsoever flourished as a result. Not even a limited one. And what happened to Khatami? The moderate Iran President was eventually overruled by Iran's religious hardliners for being too "moderate" or "modern", and his post went to Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. The window of opportunity for improving relations between Iran and the U.S./West to some degree was there. But the Neocons wanted Iran to stay on the "Enemies of the U.S." list, and did their best to ensure that no rapprochement with Iran would take place. -------- That brings us to today. Iran and the U.S. are currently enemies. Neither side sees any value in engaging in serious talks or toning down the jingoistic rhetoric. The Iran situation could, at any point, turn into another "Hot War" (Israel in particular seems to like that idea a lot). And all this because Dubya's advisers told him not to shake Khatami's hand. The situation could have been very, very different if the West had engaged in even "limited relations" with Khatami's vision of a more moderate Iran.

Re:This Conflict could have been prevented... (3, Informative)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#39763739)

And what happened to Khatami? The moderate Iran President was eventually overruled by Iran's religious hardliners for being too "moderate" or "modern",

You shot down your own attempt at revisionist history there. Ahmedinejad isn't really all that radical and would probably go along with some kind of improved relations if he could get away with it, but that's no more an option for him now than it was for Khatami ten years ago.

Re:This Conflict could have been prevented... (4, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#39764185)

Not inconsistent, actually. The theocrats put Khatami into power to test the waters, so to speak. Would the US (and the rest of the world) approach a pragmatist? The answer which Bush the Lesser provided was, "No". So they tossed Khatami out and put Ahmedinejad in.

Now, it really doesn't matter whether Ahmedinejad is capable of moderation or not. He is capable of playing (or actually is) a fanatic. And that's all that matters. The clerics gave moderation a chance and it failed. So they went with the hard line stance. Their position looks entirely logical. From their point of view, the USA has no consistent policy towards Iran, the Middle East, or the world, for that matter. It all depends on who we put into office every four years. And more often than not, that person is selected by the nuttiest of either of our political extremes. If I were Iran, I'd be building nukes, drones and anything else I could use to defend myself against such a manic-depressive political regime.

Dealing with the USA is akin to living with a woman who suffers from severe PMS.

Re:This Conflict could have been prevented... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763803)

If you think Khatami had any power over Ali Khamenei, there's a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you. You can certainly cast a critical eye on America's role in the rise of Iran's theocracy.

Re:This Conflict could have been prevented... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763907)

Obama had a policy of apologizing for american activities, embracing of Iran, a philosophy of reconciliation. How has that worked out for us?

Re:This Conflict could have been prevented... (0)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#39764101)

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was president of Iran by the time Obama became president of the US. Much more hostile towards the US. The argument no longer applies.

Re:This Conflict could have been prevented... (-1, Flamebait)

imbusy (1002705) | about 2 years ago | (#39763957)

Another proof that US is run by jews who want Iran gone.

Want some help with that? (4, Funny)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 2 years ago | (#39763649)

Hi Iran, we here at the US DoD notice you're trying to build a Predator UAV. Of course Predators are pretty toothless without Hellfire missiles. So to show there's no hard feelings, we decided to send you some. An entire shipment of Hellfire Missiles should be arriving at your reverse engineering facility in just about ... now.

Re:Want some help with that? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#39763829)

Iran has a good stock of Maverick missiles, which could be mounted in place of Hellfires (mavericks are larger).

Re:Want some help with that? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#39764111)

Hellfire is a tiny little thing... only about 100lbs. Mavericks are at least 5-6 times that massive and significantly longer. I don't think it would be easy to get a small drone to fire them, and if you did it would still be able to carry 5 or 6 hellfires for every 1 maverick. Also, there's a huge gap in technology - the Maverick is a product of the 60s and the Hellfire (well, the II) is a product of the 90s.

I can top that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763665)

With blenders and smoke detectors, I will copy their nuclear program!

For what purpose? (2, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#39763675)

Drones over Israel? Over the US?

I'd love to see either of those things happen, just to watch the reaction. The US seems to think it is fine to send spy drones over Iran, so presumably it's just fair game to send them over the mainland US too.

The US has spy satellites watching every corner of the earth, presumably the collective EU and China do too, Japan has some... Naturally Iran will be putting its own up at some point, and North Korea will too eventually. Fair's fair, right?

Re:For what purpose? (1)

skipkent (1510) | about 2 years ago | (#39763729)

Would people care seeing that we're flying drones over our own airspace? http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2012/02/08/Drones-over-US-may-pose-security-risks/UPI-86341328740671/#ixzz1lqDYd2rU

Re:For what purpose? (1, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#39763843)

Its funny that you think the word fair comes into play at all when talking about sovereignty. We are not interested in being fair, nor should we be.

Re:For what purpose? (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#39763845)

Of course all countries capable of sending up spy satellites are doing so. Remember the Soviet's Salyut and Mir space stations? They were up there for "research" right? Sure, for 30 years they conducted "research".

The problem with spy satellites is that the other guy knows when they'll fly overhead and from what direction the pictures will be taken; they're good for strategic information but not all that useful for real time or covert collection.

What would be the reaction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763961)

I'd love to see either of those things happen, just to watch the reaction.

What if the reaction was to bomb Iran into the stone age? With the justification that Iran was using WMDs? Or that Iran was threatening Israel?

Copy a copy? (3, Insightful)

BenJeremy (181303) | about 2 years ago | (#39763707)

They didn't capture a drone intact, they displayed a mockup, and a bad one at that.

All this talk about creating their own drone is more propaganda to prop up the Iranian government's "rep" in the middle east among Islamic countries, who pretty much buy everything Iran's news agencies pump out, clonebrush photoshops, crappy models and all.

Still the better of two evils (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#39763783)

At least they concentrate their resources on this rather than drones.

Re:Still the better of two evils (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763997)

You do realize that Iran is among the top 20 economies if you count by GDP (PPP) [wikipedia.org] and among the top 30 counting GDP (Nominal) [wikipedia.org] wise, right? It's economy is bigger than Australia and South Africa, while under sanctions. It also has a huge industrial base, and a top-notch university system.

That country has more than enough resources to do everything it decides to do. Read actual news.

Maybe next time the US will think twice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763789)

before violating airspace of a sovereign country.

They are copying old tech that wont help them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763819)

All the drones are based off tech from 20 years ago there is nothing worth having in the actual drone its not like its a big deal they could just buy old russian equipment thats probly just as good or some of the other old us stuff we sell off to different countrys. Why is the media trying to hype this up like they are goin to be a superpower from this?

We have a secret weapon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39763883)

...get the RIAA on their asses! :p

Better than ebay (1)

onebeaumond (1230624) | about 2 years ago | (#39763891)

Just announce you're done with it, and compile all the highest bidders. Send grateful thank you message to all your free advertisers. Free enterprise works!

Why? (2)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#39763971)

Iran isn't a backwater. They have a robotics industry and a space program. Maybe not as sophisticated as Japan, and the US, but pilotless drones aren't designed with cutting edge technology. I don't see why this would be outside Iran's current capabilities.

Re:Why? (-1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 2 years ago | (#39764103)

They're run by a vicious theocracy, they still wipe their asses with their bare hands and pray five times a day.

I'd call that pretty backwards.

Iranians are hiring the US to decrypt it (1)

nauseous (2239684) | about 2 years ago | (#39764095)

Iranians are hiring a full time employee to decrypt this data and provide full medical dental, retirement and medical leave for any US citizen. Yearly $150,000.00 Bonus: $50,000.00 annually Full medical insurance LOL

Persian Style (2)

supaneko (1019638) | about 2 years ago | (#39764121)

They're just going to take the one they have and put gold curtain rods & blue carpet in it.

(South Park)

Cryptography ? (1)

KingofSpades (874684) | about 2 years ago | (#39764143)

No one has commented about them "breaking the software encryption". I am surprised that it would be so easy to do. Could it be true ?
Does anyone has insight into what type of encryption is used or how it could be broken ? I'm pretty sure it's not ROT13.

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