‘Iran completely decoded CIA’s downed RQ-170 drone’

‘Iran completely decoded CIA’s downed RQ-170 drone’
Tue Sep 24, 2013 09:27:52

Iran says it has completed decoding the surveillance data and software extracted from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) drone that the United States lost possession of nearly two years ago near the city of Kashmar.

Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Brigadier General Hossein Salami told Fars news agency on Monday that analysts have finally cracked the systems used within the RQ-170 Sentinel drone obtained in December 2011.

Iranians said previously that they brought the drone down after it entered Iranian airspace without permission. Roughly one week later, CIA officials admitted the drone was conducting a reconnaissance mission over Afghanistan when it went missing.

When the US asked Iran to return the unmanned aerial vehicle, Salami told Fars news agency, "No nation welcomes other countries' spy drones in its territory, and no one sends back the spying equipment and its information back to the country of origin.”

Nearly two years later, Salami is now celebrating Iran’s latest accomplishment with regards to the UAV.

"All the memories and computer systems of this plane have been decoded and some good news will be announced in the near future not just about the RQ-170 and the optimizations that our forces have done on the reversed engineered model of this drone, but also in area of other important defense achievements," Fars quoted him.

When the Iranian military gained control over the drone, the unmanned aerial vehicle’s (UAV) erase sequence allegedly failed to delete sensitive data from it. Since then, Iranian experts have been decoding the captured data, occasionally reporting their progress.

Although the CIA has not admitted the extent of the drone’s capabilities, experts have said previously that reverse engineering the Sentinel could be a significant event for any nation-state looking to learn more about the technologies utilized by American spy planes.

"It carries a variety of systems that wouldn't be much of a benefit to Iran, but to its allies such as China and Russia, it's a potential gold mine," robotics author Peter Singer told the Los Angeles Times in 2011.

"It's bad — they'll have everything" an unnamed US official added to the Times then. "And the Chinese or the Russians will have it too."


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