Drones have become truly popular, due to the multiple benefits that they offer. In the military, drones have been in use thanks to their versatility, their low cost and of course the prevention of casualties among soldiers. However, besides their advantages the drones have to deal with several downsides. One major downside is the fact that they can be spotted and hacked by the experts. Imagine the consequences of having your military weapon compromised and acting against you at war.
According to Esti Peshin, Israel Aerospace Industries cyber-programs director, anyone can simply gather information related to the hacking of drones online with the use of Google.
While speaking at a Conference for Defensive Cyberspace Operations and Intelligence in the United States (Washington), she expressed her concerns over the ease of acquiring such threatening details to be used for illegal activities.
“It’s a PDF file… essentially, a blueprint for hackers,” she commented on the nature of the material, while she added that: “You can Google, just look up ‘Tippenhauer’ – it’s the first result in Google. Look up ‘UAV cyberattacks’ – it’s the third one. ‘UAV GPS spoofing attacks’ – the first one,”.
When it comes to cybersecurity measures and alertness of the proper departments that should protect every one from hackers, she was pessimistic and disappointed:
“The fact is that we are slower than the bad guys and the bad guys could take this article and render it into a form of an attack. One of the things that keep me up at night is cybersecurity for operational networks, military systems, weapons systems.”
It is important to point out the fact that there might be some relation between the hacking of drones made easily accessible on Google and the downing of a CIA drone caused by Iran. GPS hijacking has become a growing phenomenon that will most likely grow even further in the near future, as drones take over more responsibilities and are used in multiple situations. The estimated cost for getting what it takes to hack the drones varies from $2,000 to $3,000 and this is certainly an investment that hackers can spare.
The most alarming problem with drones has to do with the obsolete technology used in their function. This is why it has been easy for the pros to penetrate their protection, as it seems. If we take into consideration the fact that more people nowadays have been using drones, we can easily comprehend that there is great risk in the field of security. Now that the hackers have been able to gain unauthorized access to the way drones work, there is nothing stopping them from doing just that and acting to their best interest.
As it turns out, there are cases when a drone can cause severe problems. For instance, a drone might distract a plane or additional weapons can be added on it and cause damages. However, the manufacturers of drones have their own claims and suggest that any misuse should not be regarded as a faulty machine or an item that we are better off without. It is certainly a matter of controversy and will cause powerful debates of ambiguity over time.
Ali Qamar is an Internet security research enthusiast who enjoys “deep” research to dig out modern discoveries in the security industry. He is the founder and chief editor at Security Gladiators, an ultimate source for cyber security. To be frank and honest, Ali started working online as a freelancer and still shares the knowledge for a living. He is passionate about sharing the knowledge with people, and always try to give only the best. Follow Ali on Twitter @AliQammar57
(Security Affairs – Drone hacking, military)