Should Businesses Worry About Drone Hacking?

The tech world today is booming with excitement as new advancements seem to be on the cusp of mass adoption. For example, drone technology is already being talked up by some of the hottest brands around the world, including Amazon and UPS.

But, as technological progress is made, criminal innovations aren't far behind. Turns out those flying computers can be hacked too. Which begs the question: Should businesses worry about drone hacking?

Below are a few examples of how hackers can exploit and abuse drone UAV technology and what you can do to protect yourself. Of course, data breach insurance from CyberPolicy can defend your organization even if you are hacked. So play it safe and invest in your cyber safety net today.

Up in the Sky
We've said it before and we'll say it again - Hackers are crafty! Here's an example:

Some organizations store data so classified that they keep it in a computer not connected to the internet, also known as an 'air gap'. But cyber crooks still find a way to weasel their malware into the machine through infected physical USBs, nefarious insiders or systems code updates. But even then, hackers would need to get the information out of the computer which is difficult without an internet connection.

Here's where things get interesting. The hidden malware inside the air gap computers can send out Morse-code-like patterns over a blinking LED indicator on the hard drive, which can be captured by drone camera. Devious! In fact, Wired reported that this technique could capture 4,000 bits of data per second or a megabyte every half hour. Stolen data could even include encryption keys! The solution?

"Once, a piece of tape over a laptop's webcam was a sign of paranoia. Soon, a piece of tape obscuring a computer's hard drive LED may be the real hallmark of someone who imagines a spy drone at every window," writes Wired reporter Andy Greenberg.

Obviously, this isn't the only way drones can be used for misdeeds. Turns out there are numerous ways to hack drones in midair. One small piece of hardware, cleverly dubbed Icarus, can hijack a variety of popular drones, lock out the owners and give complete control to the hacker.

This is bad news for professionals who regularly use drone UAVs as part of their jobs, such as real estate agents, engineers, agriculturalists, videographers and more. What this means for the future of drone delivery, disaster management and law enforcement waits to be seen.

Truth be told, there isn't much you can do about this right now since most of the necessary security features to protect your drone are left up to the manufactures; and it may be awhile until proper security standards are developed and adopted by the market. For the time being, the best you can do is prevent physical access to your drone, at least according to drone security expert Jared Ablon.

In the end, it seems like cybercriminals are winning the war on drones with tech-savvy exploits, while the rest of us are reduced to low-tech solutions like masking tape and locked doors.

Thankfully data breach insurance from CyberPolicy and general liability insurance from CoverHound (our parent company) can protect your business against the financial damages of stolen data or pilfered equipment. Don't delay, get your free quote today!

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