Following the news that the Devon and Cornwall Police is launching its first 24-hour drone unit, Colin Bull, Principle Consultant at Software Quality Specialist, SQS, commented below how, unless the force takes precautionary measures, just how easy it would be for hackers and cyber criminals to potentially hack these drones and use them as dangerous weapons.
Colin Bull, Principal Consultant at SQS:
“The announcement that the Devon and Cornwall Police force is launching its first 24-hour drone unit highlights the extent to which drones are being utilised in 2017. It is vital the police ensure their drones don’t fall into the wrong hands, as drones have the ability to become dangerous weapons for cyber criminals.
As with any connected technology, drones are at risk of being hacked by cybercriminals, meaning software programming needs to be considered more seriously in the development phase. To avoid a 1984-esque Orwellian future, the government and Police must do all they can to avoid drones falling into the hands of criminals or foreign spies with malicious intent.
It is essential for the Government to implement regulations and the standardisation of the radio frequencies drones operate on before drones become a key police security tool. Doing so ultimately makes it easier for security teams to jam and top suspect drones from entering uncontrolled airspace and better control drone use.
Despite the obvious benefits of drones, they must be embraced and feared in equal measures. They might look pretty innocent, but on closer inspection, what you find can be terrifying. Putting it bluntly, these devices are in fact a flying payload and spying systems with the ability to deliver anything (including incendiary devices or grenades) into uncontrolled airspace in the way that only Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) have been able to do in the past.”