Tim Striebich Computer Security 101
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones are thought to be the future of warfare. The capabilities and improvements that this new piece of technology would bring is immense and virtually endless. Drones are constantly changing the battlefield of war as it is able to carry out surveillance missions without risking lives as well as entering harsh environments where as before no man would be able to go.
The ability to use drones instead of sending armed soldiers into a hazardous environment has many positives that differ from just saving lives. Drones are able to give us a view of dangerous locations that our troops are not allowed to go to such as African villages where extremist groups are always close by. The drones allow us to survey the situation without being in the situation at all. Drones also help out in natural disaster situations assisting rescue volunteers by searching the devastated areas and finding any survivors. The drones can be programmed to coordinate military soldier’s position so they can protect the friendly soldiers from any oncoming attack either by force or alerting them.
The Drones are equipped with highly advanced technology that can be subject to a cyber attack with multiple consequences. Most drones involved in combat will have the exact G.P.S. location of its soldiers on the battlefield and other information such as cameras and flight plans. If this information was compromised, it could lead to a multitude of deaths and could be the deciding factor in a war. The article discusses an event where a US drone was captured in Iran almost in perfect condition. Experts believe Iranian Cyber units were able to hack the drone and bring it to a secure landing. Todd Humphrey, an assistant professor at University of Texas performed a demonstration in front of government officials where he hacked and took control of a drone in mid air and controlled its route.
The author discusses the ease and true possibility of individuals and governments hacking US drones and the consequences that would follow. There must be more of an effort to come up with increased cyber defenses regarding drone and drone warfare. If they do manage to hack into our drones, the information they would retrieve would cause many deaths. Also, if they take control of a drone with offensive capabilities, it is troubling to think of the damage that it would cause, as well as the mass war that would ensue.