Drone Threat Intel Report: DroneSec Notify #26

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

It’s not often we see traditional army and military systems used to counter emerging technology threats – often, there is a flashy new system or device. In this week’s notify, we cover a new ‘smart scope’ being used by the US Army to lock on traditional soldier rifles onto fast, low flying unmanned systems. The specific use? Cheap, weaponised adversarial COTS drones in Syria. It reminds me of some work done by researcher Ulf Barth in looking at potential use cases for traditional army camouflage netting in the battlefield as a last-resort physical defence against drones.  Sometimes it’s important to provide soldiers with items that they’re most familiar with, can have easily available and innovate from there.

In the data privacy and security world (our bread and butter), a number of webinars continue the discussion and are only further highlighted by the Booz Allen security assessment report to PrecisionHawk on three DJI drone systems this week. The executive summary of the report is below. The DroneSec team was both surprised and thrilled there are other cyber-security firms tackling the aspects of unmanned systems; we are currently the only firm in APAC that conduct UAS penetration testing services with only several cyber-specific firms in the US spending quality research time and effort in this important industry area.

Overseas, we see continued use of drones by both protesters and law enforcement PDs providing situational awareness for the protests in USA. A $16,000 raid on a DJI store in Manhattan, NY shows looters grabbing as much equipment as they can – almost comically, without controllers in the rush to escape the store with just the base display drone.

In Spain, we see a report providing the various drone incidents per airport, and the related sanction or fines requested and paid. Downing of drones continue on the India-Pakistan border amid new UAS rules referenced for India in 2020 – including the interesting note of drones requiring third-party insurance. From a cyber-security, data privacy and vulnerability aspect, we may soon see drone insurance firms taking these aspects on boars in a similar fashion to pilot error or unintentional crashes.

For all our readers and customers, we hope you and your families keep well as much of the world eases restrictions and once again opens workplaces up post COVID19. We aren’t quite at the stage of going back into the office yet (Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney), but I for one am very keen to safely see the team face-to-face again.

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