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US military report highlights security fears behind ban on DJI drones

A just lately disclosed doc has shed new gentle on the US navy ban on Chinese language-made Dajiang (DJI) drones.

The memorandum “Operational Dangers With Regards to DJI Household of Merchandise” by the US Navy’s govt officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons – dated Might 24, 2017 – was one of many experiences cited by the US Military later that yr when it banned the world’s bestselling drone digicam model. This ban was later prolonged throughout the US navy.

The military memo solely attributed its ban to “cyber vulnerabilities” with out additional elaboration.

Within the navy memorandum, which was just lately launched to the nationwide safety archive of George Washington College by means of the US Freedom of Info Act, the researchers recognized a number of dangers.

The primary concern was that the information hyperlink between a DJI drone and a floor station might be hacked to realize entry to the information collected — and even to hijack the plane.

DJI’s Mavic Mini drone is a market leader. Photo: Handout

It was famous {that a} “thorough examine of the cyber vulnerabilities of those techniques” had not been accomplished, however that open sources indicated “quite a few strategies” might be used to compromise the information.

The memo additionally mentioned the DJI system may add photographs, movies or flight information to “unsecure servers in different nations” with out the operator’s information.

There was additionally a threat that operators may lose management of the drone below electromagnetic interference, and that the units may simply be broken or malfunction in “typical navy environments”.

Different issues included a scarcity of coaching help, logistics provide and technical assist from a overseas maker.

DJI sells about 70% of the world’s civilian quadrotor drones.

As a substitute of utilizing the DJI cameras for reconnaissance, the US navy principally employed them to develop their defences towards drones.

It used the drones to simulate a “consultant” menace from enemy drones and to develop its counter-unmanned plane techniques techniques accordingly.

Nonetheless, the memo implied that if the DJI drones have been hacked it may expose particulars of US defensive methods to the enemy.

The military banned the usage of the drone in August 2017. The Pentagon prolonged this ban throughout the US armed forces in Might 2018.

US lawmakers are actually weighing proposals to enshrine the ban within the Nationwide Defence Authorisation Act for the following monetary yr.

Shenzhen-based DJI has mentioned that whereas it didn’t design or market its merchandise for navy use, the corporate had lengthy since addressed the considerations expressed within the 2017 memo.

These measures embody “including superior knowledge encryption options, storing knowledge shared with DJI on safe US-based AWS servers, and including the power for customers to eradicate connection between the drone and the web”.

“DJI’s enterprise merchandise which are designed to be used by the US authorities have been examined and validated by US cybersecurity consultants and US federal companies,” it mentioned.

The corporate added that it gave all clients management over how their knowledge was collected, saved, and transmitted. – South China Morning Publish

Article kind: free

Consumer entry standing: 3

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