In a short tweet, DJI responded to concerns about drone pilots' locations being available to the public through the use of software and a cheap radio.
Last week, we reported that security researchers or hackers had discovered a way to decode the radio signals that each DJI drone emits. This enables them to pinpoint the location of the DJI drone operator.
Security researchers from Ruhr University Bochum and the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security demonstrated how to decode DJI drone radio signals at the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS) in San Diego.
They discovered that every DJI drone broadcast not only its own GPS location and a unique identifier, but also the GPS coordinates of its operator, by reverse engineering the drone's radio protocol, called DroneID.
This means that anyone with access to the software and cheap radio hardware can intercept and decode the drone's broadcasts to pinpoint the operator's location, potentially posing serious security and privacy concerns.
DJI addresses concerns about drone pilots' location available to public
In a tweet, the world's largest drone maker address the concerns that drone pilots have about their location being available to the public:
We have noted recent concerns by media outlets about the ability to determine the locations of DJI drone operators. These concerns were based on a research paper published by Ruhr University Bochum, whose authors alerted us via our Bug Bounty program last year. We also appreciate that the researchers identified a number of vulnerabilities, which DJI swiftly fixed before the research paper was published.
The Drone ID solution that DJI designed a few years ago was aligned with regulatory Remote ID solutions in many jurisdictions, including the United States and the European Union, which have adopted these as mandatory requirements as a new industry standard. We also recognize the heightened expectation of Data Security in recent years.
Safety is DJI's top priority. We will evaluate international safety and Legal requirements for Remote ID and explore possible solutions in the future.
Former VP of Policy and Legal Affairs at DJI, Brendan Schulman explained on Twitter that:
“As Remote ID will do on all consumer drones in 6 months under FAA regs. As I say in the article, this design comes from the US Gov't direction on Remote ID in 2017.”
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