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Proceedings Paper

Anti-drone cyber attacks (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Jeremy Straub

Paper Abstract

Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, are poised to provide numerous beneficial services ranging from package delivery to surveillance. However, they also represent a threat when used for nefarious purposes. Problematic applications range from illegal activities such as smuggling to those that may be dangerous, such as flying over people at an event, to annoying and invasive activities, such as a neighbor spying. In cases where there are national security or safety implications or a need to stop an illegal activity, there is significant benefit in being able to disable, capture or even destroy drones. To this end, numerous technologies for interfering with drone operations and trying to capture drones have been proposed. However, one of the most globally effective approaches, which can be as useful on a handheld drone as on one with dozens of feet of wingspan, is attacking its control and communications systems: that is, a cyberattack. This paper discusses how drones can be attacked electronically and techniques which can be designed to confuse, gain control of and even damage or destroy drones. In particular, numerous types of common exploits are considered and their applicability to the drone attacking challenge is evaluated. The paper also discusses similarities and differences between the presented classes of anti-drone techniques and presents a decision matrix for choosing between them. It also discusses how drones can be hardened against cyber-attacks and the implications of this turning into a persistent battle of one-upmanship between drone attackers and defenders, over time.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 May 2019
Proc. SPIE 11021, Unmanned Systems Technology XXI, 110210I (14 May 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2523322
Show Author Affiliations
Jeremy Straub, North Dakota State Univ (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11021:
Unmanned Systems Technology XXI
Charles M. Shoemaker; Hoa G. Nguyen; Paul L. Muench, Editor(s)

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