Drones and its Effect on the Society

Abstract

The purpose of this document is to research on drones and its effect on the society. Drone is one of the major benefits to the smart city such as providing wireless access to mobile hotspots, contributing to safe infrastructure maintenance, helping save lives, and surveying the damage of natural disasters. There are also negative impacts on the society, where the drone can be used for the malicious purpose such as stealing people information, invasion of privacy, vulnerabilities of the drone, and spying. In addition, this paper will discuss the vulnerabilities issues of the AR. Drone 2.0.

Introduction

        Over the last 10 years, drones and their technology have continued to grow at a rapid pace.  Once only used for the military, drones have now worked their way into everyday civilian use.  With this boom in use, there comes a lot of advantages, but also a lot of security issues that have arisen.  Some of the great breakouts uses for drones can include hotspots for wifi, allowing law enforcement to survey lands and help find survivors in natural disasters, and helping inspect the undersides of bridges and skyscrapers for maintenance.  The disadvantages of drones can include their vulnerabilities, their invasion of privacy, how they can be used to collect data and how they can be used to create a backdoor into wireless networks.  In this paper, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of drones in a rapidly changing tech world.

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Advantages:

        There are a lot of advantages that drones can bring to everyday life.  For example, helping with mobile hotspots.  When it comes to internet access, Americans probably don’t think about being without it because it is so widely spread.  This is very different for troops fighting overseas. Internet access can mean the difference between making it out alive or a huge tragedy.  To solve this problem, The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) created a program that helps turn small drones into flying wireless hubs.  There was a challenge in creating wireless equipment that could fit on a drone, but DARPA has been able to develop small antennas than can operate on a high frequency waveband and amplifiers that can boost the signal (Peck).  Because of these advancements, troops are now able to communicate distress.

Another advantage of drones comes from their ability to survey lands and their use in search rescues.  Because a drone is able to fly in so many areas that are not easily accessible or dangerous for humans, they are extremely valuable.  Not only they can survey damage, but they also eliminate any potential danger that a helicopter pilot might be placed in.  Just last month, drones were able to survey the area affected by the Campfire in Northern California.  Because of this families were able to see if their homes were safe or had been taken by the fire.  Drones can also be used in rescue missions.  The first drone water rescue that was documented took place off the coast of Australia.  Two boys had gotten caught in a rip tide and were struggling to stay above water.  Within two minutes, a drone was able to locate them and drop a flotation device in the water for them.  They were then able to hold onto the flotation device and float to shore (Tucker).  What could have been a tragic ending, was saved by a drone, however, there is also of disadvantages of using a drone.

Disadvantages:

One of the disadvantages of using drone is the security issues. The most commonly used civilian drone is the Parrot AR Drone 2, which has a lack of security protection. Most of the civilian doesn’t know about the security issue of using the internet, such as drone is also used for malicious purposes. Almost all of the drone can be used with the wireless connection. Most of the civilian drone was operated at the root as a default, where it gives permission to access the secret or important files. Once the attacker has hacked into the root, the hacker can collect the important information and control the system. Especially during the communication process, there were lack of encrypted communications between the controller and the and the drone. The security level of the drone depends on cost, type of the controller, and the software of the controller. 

Another disadvantage is the misuse of drones’ vulnerabilities. Hackers can get control of drones to perform a malicious activity such as use malicious code to get information about the civilians that was recorded by the drone and control the drone to hack another device. For example, AR. Drone 2.0  is easily hacked using the Telnet server. The drone has unencrypted Wi-Fi hotspot set by default. By performing the port scan, the attacker can get to port 21 which is the FTP server that has the video and image files recorded by the drone. The FTP service is not password protected by which attackers get access to the drone’s files. In addition, using a USB device, attackers can get the data or place the malicious file on the drone. The port scan also shows port 23 which is the Telnet Server offering a root shell. The root of the Telnet Server is also not password protected by which the attackers can get control over the drone. Attackers can perform malicious actions such as changing files, stealing data and deleting data on the drone. In addition, attackers can backdoor using the file system after getting the access once to the drone.

In addition, drones can be also used for spying. Drones can go any place and follow the civilian easily. The attackers can record all of the activity of the person. In addition, the spy can get important information of the person. And this violates the privacy law. Nowadays, there are many drones out there spying around others. This can cause many problems for the innocent civilians. Since, drones are only restricted on some areas. Therefore, drones can be threatful for the civilians who are under the watch of bad actors.

Lastly, using drone caused the invasion of privacy. Drones build with a camera that used to capture all of civilians and business properties. This was one of the main concern about the violation of privacy. For example, UAV was a type of drone that provided by the federal government. The main purposes of UAV were searching and rescuing civilians. There was one incident that related to UAV, where a person flew the UAV around the slaughterhouse. The UAV capture all the activities; such as the slaughter house’s pipe went into the river. It caused environmental issues. Not only it had been reported to the government, but the photos of the oversight had also been posted online. This caused a lot of damages to the company. This incident had shown the violation of using drones because it invaded the private property. After the incident, the supreme court enforced the rule, where a warrant needed before using the drone. 

The AR. Drone 2.0 Vulnerabilities

The attackers can get the control of the AR. Drone 2.0 by telnet, FTP, control ports, and use a combination of attacks.

Telnet

Using the Nmap command, the attacker can scan all of the ports number running on the AR. Drone 2.0. For this case, the port number for telnet is 23. The Telnet server has the root shell, which gives the attacker full access to the drone system. The attacker can attack other device with the drone since the drone runs on Linux machine which is same as attacking someone using a PC.

FTP

FTP port number also found using the Nmap command. The FTP server has the videos and image files stored on the drone. FTP servers are also not password protected by which the attackers can get access to the subdirectory of the drone. Using the USB device connection, the attacker can export the files, or they can also place malicious files on the drone. Because the USB drive directed to the data file directory and private data stored while the USB is connected. Also, the data is visible to anyone connected to the FTP server. In addition, using filesystem the attackers can backdoor to perform malicious activities.

Control ports

After getting to the root shell of the drone, the attackers can control the drone from other devices like PC and smartphone app. This allows the attacker to eavesdrop live video recording or interrupt the drone operations.

Solution

The AR. Drone 2.0 vulnerabilities can be secured by securing the Wi-Fi connection or by using a secured Network. The drone has unencrypted Wi-Fi, which needs to be password protected, so that others can not get control of the drone. Using a secured network by connecting the drone to external network, can also get rid of the vulnerabilities because it is encrypted and secured.

Drone Attack Incidents

There are many incidents caused by drones. Some main incidents caused by drones are the drone crash near the White House on 01/26/2015, Venezuela drone attack on 08/05/2016, and hacker sold Stolen U.S. Military Drone Documents on Dark Web for just $200 on 07/11/018.

The Drone crash near the White House

On January 26, 2015, a drone was found near the White House. After investigation, the drone was found not harmful. But from this incident, some questions were raised about the drones threats

Venezuela drone attack 

Another incident, On August 5, 2018, Nicolas Maduro, the President of Venezuela, he was giving a speech at an outdoor event in Caracas. During the speech, a drone unexpectedly came and exploded. According to investigators, the drone was sent to attack the president.

Hacker sold stolen U.S. Military drone documents on dark web for just $200

According to cybersecurity researchers, U.S military drone documents were stolen by a hacker. The documents were sold on the dark web for 200 dollars. The information was about a drone that is used on by the U.S military. With the information, the drone could be easily hacked which could have leaked sensitive information and could create a threat to the country.

Conclusion

As a result, there are both advantages and disadvantages of using drones. Drones have been using for many good purposes for society; however, drones cause a lot of security issues because of their vulnerabilities. There are many drones like the AR. Drone 2.0 with vulnerabilities. The AR. Drone 2.0 lack security due to using unsecured Wi-Fi connection by which attackers can get control of the drone easily. This problem can be fixed easily by using secured network. To mitigate the hacking into the drone system, the company must provide a high level of security to all types of drones and make sure to update the system of the controller. The governments must provide the proper warrant and don’t use on the private property with the consents.

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