Hackers give orders to a German Patriot missile system

Patriot missile systems stationed in Turkey near the Syrian Border were briefly taken over by hackers according to the Behorder Spiegel magazine

According to the Behorder Spiegel magazine, hackers were able to send “unexplained” orders to the Patriot missiles stationed in Turkey. The Patriot missiles are part of the anti-aircraft system, the systems are manufactured in the US and are used for defensive purposes as advanced aerial interceptor missile and high-performance radar systems.

The hackers took over the German-owned Patriot missiles on the Syrian border. It was not immediately clear when the cyber attack occurred neither the nature of the orders sent to systems.

The system hacked by the attackers is owned by the German Army, the Bundeswehr, located in the area to protect the Turkish Border.

The missile systems were stationed in the area in 2012 when the Turkish government request the intervention of NATO allies, after the civil war in Syria.

The magazine reports two possible attack scenarios against this kind of missile systems. In a first scenario hackers can exploit a flaw in the Sensor-Shooter-Interoperability (SSI), which is a real-time data exchange between the missile launcher and its control system, meanwhile in the second one hackers can breach the overall system by compromising the computer chip that controls the guidance of the weapon.

“One possible target for attacks from the digital space has in this context, the so-called “sensor-shooter interoperability” (SSI).” states the magazine. ” Another avenue for cyber attacks are the chips of the weapons systems that are ultimately responsible for their overall control.” 

This already come for some time from the United States, its blanks are produced in Asia, however. This allows militarily relevant influence.” states the magazine.

The German Government already announced the replacement of Patriot missiles with MEADS air defense systems.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Patriot missiles, hacking)

Pierluigi Paganini

Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer. Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US. Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines. Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.

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