The planned acquisition of two French-built spy satellites by
the United Arab Emirates appeared to be in doubt last night, after
news that technicians discovered ?security-compromising components?
in the satellites? software.
an article in US-based defense industry publication Defense News,
said software engineers in the UAE had discovered a number of
components in the satellites that seem designed to ?provide a back
door to the highly secure data transmitted to the ground station?.
Interestingly, the back-door components appeared to have come from
US suppliers. The publication quoted ?a high-level UAE source? who
said the discovery was reported in September to the office of Sheikh
Mohammed, who is also the UAE?s Deputy Supreme Commander. Soon
afterwards, Abu Dhabi asked the French to remove the back doors from
the systems, while at the same time opening up consultations with
Russian and Chinese defense contractors. Since that time, said
Defense News, ?a number of high-level delegations have shuttled
between Moscow and Abu Dhabi?. The source told the publication that
the UAE is prepared to cancel the entire deal if Paris fails to
resolve the contentious issue……’
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