The revelation that insurgents had hacked US drones came as shocking news. What’s more, they did so using $26 off-the-shelf software (SkyGrabber). Now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that senior officers knew about the security risk five years ago.

According to a report in the Journal, senior officers warned in 2004 of the drones’ vulnerabilities. The primary concern was Russia and/or China, not insurgents. But the officers’ concerns were dismissed by more senior members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were more worried about IEDs.

With military drones taking on an expanded role (observe the drone war in Pakistan), its crucial that we address this issue.