Protego Project – CIA Missile Control System – WikiLeaks Vault7

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Moments ago, wikileaks revealed four highly confidential documents (along with 37 related documents) of a top secret project of CIA called “The Protego Project” in the vault 7 series .

What is Protego?

The Protego Project was a PIC based missile control system that was developed and managed by a company named Raytheon. Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems; as well as a broad range of mission support services.

Pratt & Whitney is an American aerospace manufacturer with global service operations whose engines are widely used in both civil aircrafts as well as military aeroplanes and fighter jets. According to the documents, Protego system ws installed in on-board Pratt & Whitney aircrafts (PWA) that are equipped with air to air or air to ground missile launch systems.

Breaking Down Protego

Protego is composed of two independant units that are controlled by two different microcontroller that send and receive data over encrypted and authenticated channels.

  • Master Processor (MP) and the ‘Deployment Box’ which is onboard TWA.
  • Microcontroller for the missile system, the tube and the collar which holds the missile.

As mentioned before, these two units will be sending and receiving the data through encrypted channel. At the time of missile launch, the MP waits for a beacon signal that contains 3 parameters

  • In Border
  • Valid GPS
  • No End of Operational Period

The missile is launched if and only if all these parameters are set to “True”

Similary safeguards are in place to auto-destruct encryption and authentication keys for various scenarios (like ‘leaving a target area of operation’ or ‘missing missle’).

Leaked Documents

Source: WikiLeaks

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