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Drones, Friend or Foe

Drones, friend or foe.

It’s not hard to recognise the increase in drone use all over the world, they are getting smaller, faster, cheaper and easier to fly by each day. And this is great for the average person as they may one day see these drones delivering pizza or maybe even a package. As drones keep on advancing they can continually be used for various activities and limit the need for human interaction. This is good but it is also a tool that can be used by people with not so good intentions.

Over the past few years drones have been adopted by security personnel and criminals alike and they are mainly used for live surveillance, you can pick up a drone with a decent HD camera for around £80 on the internet. So, they are very affordable and can be acquired by anyone and used for anything they choose.

We have seen various reports over the last few years of organised gangs using these drones with cameras to see if properties are empty and to also observe what is going on around the house, they use the drone to look for any security weaknesses and to check the quality of the goods in the house. This of course is a much more sophisticated way of finding suitable houses to take from compared to google street view which has been also used in the pat for the same reasons. The feared “Tub Gang” has started to use drones to follow and watch targets in New York and New Jersey.

A more chilling fact about drones is that security services and authorities in the US, Spain, Germany and Egypt have all successfully stopped at least 7 potential terror attacks since 2011.

Who is to blame?

At the moment I am between fences, of course Drone manufactures add various features based on the feedback they receive from customers, they need to make sure the product will appeal to the target market, you must keep in mind that drones can be marketed towards the everyday consumer, companies and even the military and its true that a £100 drone is not going to come with the ability to assassinate people but they all have one thing in common, weather it is a £10 drone or a £1000 drone, they all come with weak security and the ability to be hacked. In a race that has lead companies to create the must have drone many things have been missed and one of them is the security of the drones. Big companies have become irresponsible and are not focusing on the important matters they should. The reality is that most drones can be hacked by anyone with the right software on their computer.

What can we do?

It seems technology is advancing faster than we can defend against and its certainly true for drones too. We may need new laws that allow people to shoot down drones that have crossed boundaries without permission… Another solution is “GeoFencing” and it’s a mean of blocking drone signals in certain locations but it seems farfetched to see this used on a large scale.

There needs to be some serious talks about drone security and governments in every county need to start listening.

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