Drone Security: How to Protect Your Drone From Hackers

Drone Security: How to Protect Your Drone From Hackers

Owing to the increasing use of drones in many industries, hackers may target drones. Drone security is essential and should be implemented well.

Drones are becoming increasingly popular for not only recreational but also commercial purposes. You can find them in a number of industries where they can be used to transport goods and even used for surveillance.

As drone usage increases, the matter of security becomes more pressing. Not considering the issue of privacy, rogue drones can harm not only property but also people which is why drone security is extremely important. This gives rise to the following questions: can drones be hacked? If yes, how would a hacker go about doing it?

Can Drones Be Hacked?

As drones are very much like computers, they are potential targets for hacking. Drones are controlled with the help of radio waves which means that attackers do not need physical access to the drone to control it. However, drones have security features and are not believed to be hacked very often. Regardless, they can be hacked and this is a fact that drone users need to be aware of along with drone security.

Hackers do not need to be particularly experienced to hack a drone. Many software have been designed to hack into drones using wireless connections like Wi-Fi.

How Can Someone Hack a Drone?

Hacking a drone is very similar to hacking a computer. An attacker can access a drone from up to a mile away. All they need to do is to create a connection to the drone by intercepting the radio signal. As these radio signals are generally unencrypted there is an intermediate step to decode them with packet sniffers. After doing so, they block the signal and connect the drone to their device, manipulating the drone to work as they please.

GPS spoofing is often used by hackers to send fake GPS coordinates to the drone’s receiver. Owing to this technique, the drone operator can be fooled into thinking that the drone is following the right flying pattern when it is actually being taken to a different location. The hacker may then crash the drone on purpose or steer it to the location of their choosing to access its data. It is worth noting that GPS spoofing can also be used against malicious drones.

Compromised drones have the potential to build a backdoor into an enterprise’s wireless network, creating network interference and damaging productivity as well as profitability. In case of data theft, downtime incurred can possibly cause the business to lose a lot of money and even destroy its relationship with its customers. Hackers may even access proprietary information, allowing competitors to gain access to trade secrets. Despite all this, drones can be secured like any other wireless device using drone security methods.

Drone Security Tips

We now know why it is critical to implement security measures so that your drone is protected against threats. Check out the options given below to enhance drone security:

  • Protecting Your Controller: In order to protect your drone, you need to protect the device that is used to control it. If the controller gets malware, your drone will be at risk. One option is to use a dedicated device to control your drone. The other option is being mindful of what you install on your phone or computer and installing a good antivirus.
  • Installing Security Software: Depending on your type of drone, you might be able to install software that makes the drone harder to hack. Many products are available to protect against the threat of hacking.
  • Updating Your Drone’s Software: Ensure that you install all software updates provided by the drone manufacturer immediately. Updates are generally released to fix potential security issues.
  • Be Careful About Where You fly: As it is possible to pick up a drone’s signal from up to a mile away, flying in urban regions significantly increases the number of people who could try to hack your drone. It is also not advisable to repeatedly use the same route.
  • Return to Home Mode: Many drones have a Return to Home feature. Using this feature makes your drone return to a particular address when it loses signal or runs low on power. This feature was designed specifically for cases where the drone accidentally loses signal, but it is also useful as a defence against signal jamming.
  • Use a VPN or Create a Private LTE Network: Using a VPN allows you to keep your Internet connection secure from hackers. It acts as a gateway to the Internet and encrypts your connection, stopping hackers from getting access to your device. Private LTE networks are non-public wireless networks based on cellular LTE technology. These networks use small cells that are similar to Wi-Fi access points. These small cells are installed on-site and operated by a managed service provider.

Hacking Drones is Possible; Protect Your Drone with Drone Security

A hacked drone may not have been one of your concerns, but as it is a possibility, drone security is essential. Hacked drones are vulnerable to theft and in some cases can also be used as weapons. Drone owners need to be aware of the threats and employ drone security to prevent their drones from being hacked.

Although drones are primarily used for harmless purposes, drones with erratic behaviours can possibly be under the control of a hacker. This is why security professionals should be on the lookout for drones flying over their premises.

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