German-owned Patriot missiles stationed on Turkey’s Syrian border have been briefly hacked, according to reports in the German media. The nature of the technology hack, and the culprits, are unknown.
The American-made anti-aircraft missiles were stationed in Turkey by Germany to protect their Nato ally, The Local has reported.
According to civil service magazine Behorden Speigel, the missile system carried out “unexplained” commands. It reports that the missiles are susceptible to hacking in the “digital space”, as commands are broadcast from the command centre to the missile in real time.
Alternately, the microchips which run the system could have been tampered with. Although the missiles are American built, the chips are manufactured in Asia, raising concerns for their security.
The two weaknesses potentially leave the missile system open to both being taken over by an alternate operator, and to espionage.
The magazine says that, as a result, it is “astonishing” that the Ministry of Defence continues to take an international approach to weapons procurement, rather than keeping manufacture within Germany.
The hacking incident raises concerns that jihadists or other assailants may attempt to use European weapons against their own countries. Yesterday it was revealed that thieves have taken 40 grenades, 200 detonators and an unspecified quantity of military-grade explosives from an army depot in Southern France. The thieves simply cut through a chain link fence to gain entry.
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