Jump to content

Ever think your "Drone" could be spying for a foreign power?


Recommended Posts

Is Your DJI Drone a Chinese Spy? Leaked DHS Memo Suggests



According to ICE, the DJI drones operate on two Android smartphone apps—DJI GO and Sky Pixels—that automatically tag GPS imagery and locations, access users' phone data, and register facial recognition data even when the system is off.

Beside this, ICE says the apps also capture users identification and personal information, like their full names, email addresses, phone numbers, computer credentials, images, and videos....

...Of course, the drone-maker has denied the allegations, saying that the memo from the US government office was based on "clearly false and misleading claims."

This article falls into the area of IoT (Internet of Things) and how with so many things becoming connected to the internet we are losing control over what data is collected. For my point here you can drop China (although that is a concern) and concentrate on the larger picture. To you these UAVs (Un-manned Aerial Vehicles) are often little more than toys or just a hobby like RC Aircraft... but with today's technologies they can be used to pinpoint points of interest.

Are any of you aware of a US Airstrike a few years ago on an ISIS headquarters? Some little putz with a smart phone took a photo of himself with his assault rifle and posted the photo online. That was picked up by intelligence and as he had not turned off tagging, the phone GPS tagged the photo and gave the US the HQ direct location and in less than 48 hours a airstrike hit it killing some high ranking commanders.

In another (accidental) case years ago, a power station failed. The load must then be spread in the system causing other smaller stations to fail, their loads in turn exceeded the draw on larger nets and the cascade effect finally knocked out power grids in the upper east coast, as far west as Michigan and as far north as into Canada. Millions without power for days.

Now just as an example, add these three stories together. I live near a small power center, I fly my UAV (Drones are military un-manned targets) and GPS is collected as well as the fact it is flying around a power station. A few others do the same and the adversary now knows where they are to within a few feet. They hack in, or physically break in, bring down the stations so the power defaults to other lines that then collapse and whole grids begin to fail.

We can argue all day about the likelihood of this, but it is a very real threat, it is possible regardless of how unlikely you think it is. It is merely a precautionary tale.

This is also not including the fact that these UAVs are collecting personal data on you. Always limit as much info going out about you as possible from any IoT, app or device.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...