Exploring Security Vulnerabilities of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Nils Miro Rodday, R. de Oliveira Schmidt, Aiko Pras

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    72 Citations (Scopus)
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    We are currently observing a significant increase in the popularity of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), popularly also known by their generic term drones. This is not only the case for recreational UAVs, that one can acquire for a few hundred dollars, but also for more sophisticated ones, namely professional UAVs, whereby the cost can reach several thousands of dollars. These professional UAVs are known to be largely employed in sensitive missions such as monitoring of critical infrastructures and operations by the police force. Given these applications, and in contrast to what we have been seeing for the case of recreational UAVs, one might assume that professional UAVs are strongly resilient to security threats. In this demo we prove such an assumption wrong by presenting the security gaps of a professional UAV, which is used for critical operations by police forces around the world. We demonstrate how one can exploit the identified security vulnerabilities, perform a Man-in-the-Middle attack, and inject control commands to interact with the compromised UAV. In addition, we discuss appropriate countermeasures to help improving the security and resilience of professional UAVs.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE/IFIP Network Operations and Management Symposium (IEEE NOMS 2016)
    Place of PublicationUSA
    PublisherIEEE Communications Society
    Number of pages2
    ISBN (Print)978-1-5090-0223-8
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
    Event15th IEEE/IFIP Network Operations and Management Symposium, IEEE NOMS 2016 - Suleyman Demirel Cultural Center, Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
    Duration: 25 Apr 201629 Apr 2016
    Conference number: 15

    Publication series

    PublisherIEEE Communications Society


    Conference15th IEEE/IFIP Network Operations and Management Symposium, IEEE NOMS 2016
    Abbreviated titleNOMS 2016
    Internet address


    • EWI-26889
    • IR-100166
    • METIS-316860

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