Fatal Flaw Found in UAVs
Unmanned aerial aircraft is one of the latest and greatest achievements in recent military technology history. These drone planes remove the pilot from the danger of the battlefield and are highly recommended and used for reconnaissance missions that are too dangerous for manned planes. As this technology continues to grow both usage and advantages, there are also a few dangers that begin to arise. A few months ago, an unmanned aerial vehicle crash landed in the Middle East, where Iraqi’s proudly boasted that they would soon be able to hack the plane and steal its technology. Now, in this story, scientists are saying that hacking and controlling an unmanned aerial vehicle is becoming a reality.
Fox News has released a report that stated if the wrong person gets their hands on the right technology, they would be able to control unmanned aerial vehicles and turn them into a kamikaze style suicide weapon.
A researcher based in the University of Texas discovered this troubling fact during a series of flight tests. He discovered that by using a hacking technique known as GPS “spoofing,” it would be very possible to force an unmanned aerial vehicle to fly away from its path and even force it into a crash landing. Even more trouble is the recent story that the US government is looking to grant US airspace specifically to drones for smaller jobs like local police surveillance or even deliveries for companies like FedEx.
To simplify the statement, anyone with the right technology could gain control of an unmanned aerial vehicle using GPS spoofing technology. Spoofers are incredibly dangerous in this regard because they mimic the command control of the GPS technology used in drones. Therefore, a person with GPS spoofing technology could easily make an unmanned aerial vehicle do whatever they wanted it to do. The University of Texas researcher was able to build a spoofer for only $1,000, and called it the best spoofer ever built. He was able to override the command signal from space and take full control of a drone plane with his own device.
Congress recently passed legislation paving the way for what the FAA predicts will be somewhere in the region of 30,000 drones in operation in US skies by 2020.Critics have warned that the FAA has not acted to establish any safeguards whatsoever, and that congress is not holding the agency to account. What this means for the future of unmanned aerial vehicles remains uncertain, but one thing is for sure: if this critical flaw in the drone planes remains unchecked, it could spell big problems for the military and civilians.
Another flaw was recently found in a computer chip that is used in several different commercial airplanes. Both of these problems must be checked and fixed in a timely manner if people are to continue feeling safe in the skies. Hacking is a big problem, and you need to make sure you have a way to protect yourself to prevent damage and keep your safety in check.