Emergent Cybersecurity Risks Presented by Drones

Drones are emerging as one of the best way of delivering parcels and goods. Military use drones to do dangerous manned missions that are risk for anyone to go. They are also used to do researches as they can travel to habitats where human life cannot survive. Drones are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They are automated and use GPS (Global Positioning system) and GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) to move to where they are sent.

With the increase in use of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles), vulnerability and susceptibility of drones to attacks has increased and hence cybersecurity has become a major issue of auto pilot system.

GPS spooling

Spooling is one of the major issues that drones are facing and it is challenge that many technicians are trying to find a long lasting solution. GPS spooling is a technique that are hackers use to bring confusion to the drone. It is done by sending a signal to the drone, where a drone mistakes the signal from hackers for the send one from GPS satellites.  It involves generation of fake GPS signals, a counterfeit one to alter the normal GPS system.  This causes the drone to navigate to a false location that has been defined by the attacker. The falsified location on the GPS system tends to show the controller that they are on the wrong path, whilst in real sense they are on the correct path. This is a cyber security threat that needs to be addressed as can lead to major security breach. Malicious people can access drone and control it and do bad things that can cause a great damage.

GPS jamming

It is a technique which involves knocking out the entire GPS navigation system entirely.  It involves highly trained GPS jammer who sends signals with a similar frequency from a GPS jammer device. This causes a GPS navigation system to fail and disconnects the drone from controller station. Most of jammer devices switches on and off to make sure they are not detected. Jamming drone can cause it to fall and crash and this may lead to intensive damage of highly valuable goods and information

Facilitation of a physical access to unsecured systems

Drones can cause hackers to get access to systems that are not secure. This is possible when malicious actors use the proximity provided by drones to exploit unsecured systems, devices or even networks and extract critical and confidential information and fall into wrong hands. This is done by using the network loopholes the drones provide as they are being controlled by a virtual pilot. In addition, unmanned aerial vehicles can be hacked and used by hackers to access information and data from organizations. Malware can also be installed pre-installed to control it or gain access to information and data.

Collision risks

Due to increased use of drones, the airspace now is full of drones and airplanes and soon we will be witnessing collisions. Drones are at high risk of colliding with airplanes.

Mitigation measures

All wireless networks and devices and drones need to be constantly in check. Installation of Updates and patches should be done on timely manner, to make sure that any loopholes can be secured on time.  Changing default passwords should always be done immediately when a new component is brought in. All information and data should be encrypted   and restrictions in access should be high and firewall is a must to keep away hackers.  There is need for high concentration for those who control the drones to avoid collision.

Oliviah Nelson

Oliviah Nelson is an avid cybersecurity author who dives deep into technical and engineering issues in the cyber world.The author of books and articles about technology and security, Oliviah Nelson is a well respected authority.
Oliviah Nelson

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