How important is drone defense? In today’s ever-accelerating technological world, it’s no surprise that drones and drone defense have been evolving to every imaginable end. Recent FAA reports state that there are over 770,000 registered drones in the United States. This number is expected to be “more than triple in size from 1.1 million UAVs [currently, including unregistered and commercial drones] to 3.55 million, and the number of commercial vehicles to grow tenfold to 442,000 by 2021. Pilot licenses, meanwhile, will jump from 37,000 to 281,300 in five years.” -Engadget.com
While the vast majority of drones exist in an ethical and legal fashion, the door is wide open for opportunistic exploitation. It can be hacking attempts on your personal Wi-Fi or the creep down the road. Drones pose a considerable threat to our personal safety and security. In this article, we will be discussing personal and home drone defense and why it’s so important.
Drone Defense: Protecting Yourself From Possible Threats
In This Article:
- Why Drones Were Developed
- Drones for Data Collection
- Drones for Physical Tasks
- How To Prepare For These New Threats
Why Drones Were Developed
First, we will review the two main purposes for developing drones. They are used for data collection and interacting with the environment. Drones also have an incredibly wide range of capabilities. Both capabilities have their own unique challenges that we will explore.
Secondly, we will explore what’s headway in the drone defense systems in the market. The more popular solutions like AR-15 attachments have been limited to government use only. Although there are some simple steps you can take against drone surveillance.
Drones for Data Collection
This drone has a hacking computer used by researchers for breaching Wi-Fi networks.
Drones for Physical Tasks
Again, the capability and versatility that drones bring seem to be growing every day. Automation continues to take over the manufacturing industry. This prompts manufacturers and operators to push the limits of how a drone can affect the environment. From package deliveries to dropping grenades, drone delivery systems are vulnerable to exploitation.
Aside from dropping payloads, some additional tinkering makes drones perform simple robotic tasks. This varies from collecting organic samples for agriculture to rigging an actuator to squeeze a trigger. The teenage owner of this drone definitely deserves questioning. Again, this demonstrates how simple it can be for a someone to modify drones.
How To Prepare For These New Threats
Knowledge is the best way to prepare. The number of registered drones and drone operators is increasing. The sheer volume of these airborne assistants will prove the need for addressing property owner’s concerns. It is then important to think critically about the possibility of you being a target. If anything, the biggest risk homeowners face is hacking of their Wi-Fi networks. This can compromise all devices connected to that network. For that reason, we will focus on what you can do to best mitigate and prepare for that threat. The best part is, these are all tips you can install today, on your own network.
Here are a few network security tips from PC Magazine that you can implement today. This can better protect your Wi-Fi network and connected devices.
- Activate network encryption
- Update your router’s admin username and password
- Change your network name
- Turn off guest networks
- Turn down broadcast power if you find that your wifi signal is reaching out to areas you don’t use.
Active drone defense systems are still in development. The market needs a system which produces some innovative solutions. Dedrone has devised a jamming system that creates enough disruption to cause a drone to lose communication with the pilot. At that point, autopilot takes over and the drone either lands on the spot or returns to the point it took off from. This system is still new and best for large commercial or infrastructural facilitates. It is also likely to scale down for the public soon.
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Finally, remember the Kentucky solution? That got me thinking, is that a contingency worth preparing for? Since there still has not been a clear definition of air rights, the best we can do is prepare for the threat now and wait for legislation to catch up.
While shooting clay pigeons have been the best aerial replication of flight for target shooting thus far, Gnat Warfare has been developing drone targets that better replicate today’s drone flight patterns and behavior. Again, while it is very unlikely that you personally will be targeted by a handgun-toting drone, gun owners already know the value of preparing for the worst. Gnat Warfare operates and sells ground-based and flying drone targets. This is a great way to get some hands-on, real-world experience in shooting down drones with human operators.
Here is some footage provided by one of the founders, George Ford. In it, Gnat Warfare demonstrates some of their aerial drone drills along with the ground-based scenarios. While they focus on meeting current demand, Ford has been researching and developing aerial threat training programs. Even now, you can hire Gnat Warfare to run a drone shoot just for the fun of it!
Watch this video by George Ford about a Gnat Warfare shot show:
Simply learning about drone developments is the best way to prepare for these devices becoming more integrated into our lives. Lack of knowledge or half-truths spread by alarmists can end up hindering or even halting the progress we’ve made. That is exactly why this information is in the format you saw today. The best advice I can give is to follow those network security tips and stay abreast the industry developments. Stay safe, and share your drone experience with us in the comments!
What do you think about the capability of drones today? Please let us know in the comments section below!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.