Normally when you think of rogue drones, you think of pilots flying where they shouldn’t, getting too close to people or airports, and generally giving the community a bad name. And that’s probably fair enough. Most of the dangerous flying making headlines is down to people breaking the rules. But what happens when your drone is hacked? Now, researchers at John Hopkins University have raised concerns about how easily someone else could take control and they’re discovering drone security flaws. To prove that pilots might be at risk, they’ve been hijacking and crashing drones with a number of different methods.
Exploiting the security flaws in consumer drones
The researchers at Johns Hopkins are nice people, so instead of calling what they do ‘attacks’, it’s seen instead as an ‘exploit’, a way of getting under the skin of a drone and taking advantage of its software weaknesses. To see exactly how vulnerable regular consumer drones were to being hacked, they set about targeting the wireless connection between pilot and UAV.