Published On: Tue, Aug 27th, 2019

Cybersecurity and Drones: What Are the Threats?

Drones are an integral part of Unmanned Arial Vehicles, and they have become widely popular from the past few years. If we look at the projections, the global drone market may grow up to $43 billion by 2024. 

Earlier, the use of drones was limited to military purpose; however, today anyone can purchase them. Moreover, they have become more affordable and available in variable size ranges. One can get a customized design as per need. 

Drones are now useful for almost all industries and business sectors; they can be used for surveillance, agriculture, filmmaking, and photography as well. Amazon has even appointed drones for delivering packages. Dominos is using them for pizza delivery and UPS for shipping medical samples. There is no doubt to say that this latest technology-led so many benefits to human beings. But at the same time, it is posing some serious threats to the world. Studies reveal that feature-rich drones can soon turn into a terrible sci-fi nightmare. 

Photo via Pixabay/Cristian Rodri

There is a long list of threats associated with drones; few of them are listed below:

Malicious applications of drones

Hackers, burglars, and criminals these days are using drones for spying activities. Many drone users till now have been arrested for spying neighbors and few others for creating pathways to rob the house. Countries that have not yet created solid laws for the use of drowns are on more risk. Some advanced drones are even able to see through walls with the help of 3D imaging and Wi-Fi. They provide burglars access to the inner part of the building to execute their robbing plans. 

Drones can also be used to launch cyberattacks and hack servers and install dangerous malware, extract data, spy on networks and block communications. 

Stealing data using drones

Hackers try to attach a small computer, preferably Raspberry Pi, to drones and allow it to fly over the target area. It can help secret information to lead RFID, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi vulnerabilities. The latest drone units can be easily connected to a variety of devices such as laptops and smartphones to intercept data. They can even steal bank credentials, secret passwords and account details from phones within the set range. 

It is possible to hack a drone

Probably you are excited to use your new drone and want to capture some wonderful shots by letting it fly high in the air. But what if it suddenly goes out of your control and starts injuring people around. It is possible with GPD spoofing where hackers simply track specific GPS receiver and then start sending fake signals to the attached drone. The drone may get linked to the wrong location, and it may start doing some malicious activities. 

Researchers these days are trying to find new ways to detect and disable various malicious drones. Some of the most popular technologies employed in this direction are geofencing, radar, acoustic sensors, RF scanners, and thermal imaging. These methods can help to detect drones in specific areas to prevent malicious activities. 

Author: David Balaban

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