Drone Threat Intel Report: DroneSec Notify #23

This summary has been extracted from our weekly public threat intelligence report. For more information on the platform or weekly email PDFs, please visit: or email us at [email protected] or join the slack group at

Did you know that between late 2019 and February 2020, CASA, in support of Air Services Australia and the Department of Defense, rolled out 29 passive drone detection systems across all of Australia’s civil aerodromes? These counter-drone surveillance trails are not new. Trials have been conducted at the MotoGP, Vivid Festival and on the Sydney harbour bridge, but with some interesting statistics coming to light.

Speaking at the AAUS RPAS in the Skies conference (virtually), CASA CEO Shane Carmody announced that 35,000 unique drone systems had been detected across Australian aerodromes in the trials. In the month of March alone, CASA saw 8,468 distinct drones, with some airports such as Melbourne and Sydney receiving over 1,000 each. That’s roughly 32 rogue drone detections per 24 hours. Now imagine prisons, military bases and more. A commendable effort to the Australian government and interesting to see where the 24/7 real-time feed to the Aviation Services Coordination Center will roll out.

Some of the highlights of this week include a publication titled “Are drone swarms’ weapons of mass destruction” and “A report on the use of drones by public safety agencies”. Both of these complex discussion points and well worth the reading material. Moving on, there is a post regarding US Special Operations Command equipping troops with drone-killing drones and a positive to see the New York UAS/UTM test site integrating Cyber-Security as a core implementation component to their UTM contingencies trial.

In the ongoing discussion around data privacy and security, DJI has released a post-mortem analysis of the incident in New York where a DJI quadcopter collided with a Black Hawk helicopter. A must read for forensic and incident responders, be it with all bias or absolutely none; these links are all in the body.

We continue to place emphasis on tracking the individuals, groups or actors behind drone incidents. You will now notice we’ve started including some of these actors and their Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) within the analysis section of certain featured articles. It is important to remember that the drone isn’t the threat – it’s the people behind them, their motivations and goals a leading battle we must continue to try and stay ahead of.

I’d like to thank URSA Secure for their continued dedication and contributions to DroneSec, Notify and the unmanned forensic and incident response sector in general. In other news, we released a Counter-Drone educational curriculum for high schoolers and drone courses; we’re lucky to be partnering with Drone Tech UAS in New York and several other providers to follow. This is an important topic for the great minds of the next generation – who knows, some might be thinking “I want to be a C-UAS operator when I grow up!” In reality, teaching safety and security will ensure less restrictions on the industry, and improved innovation.

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