Feeds

US BACKDOORED our satellites, claim UAE

French sat contract at risk

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

A French contract to supply intelligence satellites to the United Arab Emirates could be cancelled, with the UAE claiming it's discovered backdoors in US-supplied components of the birds.

Defence News, which broke the story, claims that the $US930 million contract could be scrapped, according to high-level UAE sources, if the issue can't be resolved. That would be a blow for prime contractor Airbus Defence and Space, and payload maker Thales Alenia Space.

Defence News says the backdoors would “provide a back door to the highly secure data transmitted to the ground station”. An unnamed UAE source says the discovery of the components has been reported to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, deputy supreme commander of the UAE's armed forces.

Along with a ground station, the Pleiades-type satellites, known as Falcon Eye, are due for delivery 2018.

The original contract was sealed in July 2013. The two high-resolution observation satellites included operational support from France, along with training for 20 engineers.

Since the backdoor was discovered, delegates have been shuffling between Russia and Abu Dhabi, presumably to seek alternative sources if the contract is canned. However, Defence News also speculates that the questioning of the contract may be an attempt to improve Abu Dhabi's negotiating position for another contract, for Dassault Aviation Rafale fighters. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New twist as rogue antivirus enters death throes
That's not the website you're looking for
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.