It is not impossible that Iran could have seized control of the UAV.
A team at the University of Texas at Austin was able to take over a U.S. government drone, on a dare from the Department of Homeland Security, reports Popular Science. For $1,000, they employed a technique called spoofing, where a hacker sends a signal that is the same as the drones' GPS.
Iran also claims it took control of the RQ-170 that the U.S. government said crashed there in 2011.
But Kochersberger doesn't believe that's a possibility in this case, adding those techniques are likely beyond the capabilities of the Iranian government barring an "extreme situation of a lot of things going wrong at the same time."
Drones and Iran have likely made headlines in recent years largely due to Tehran's propaganda efforts, not lapses by the U.S. military and intelligence circles, he says.
"[Drones] seem to be a hot topic right now. Maybe Iran is picking up on that," says Kochersberger. "They see some sensitivity in the American public to drones, and possibly consider this another irritant to bring it up."
If anything, intelligence equipment the U.S. employs has become more resilient to attacks, he says.
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Paul D. Shinkman is a national security reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at email@example.com.