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Posts Tagged ‘#drone’

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DJI drones to gain privacy mode after US Army ban

August 15, 2017

The world’s best-selling drone-maker is adding a privacy mode to its aircraft to prevent flight data being shared to the internet.
The announcement comes a fortnight after it emerged that the US Army had prohibited its troops from using the Chinese firm’s equipment because of unspecified cyber-security concerns.
DJI told the BBC that it had already been working on the new facility, but had speeded up development after the ban.
The mode should be launched next month.
“It will provide an enhanced level of data assurance for security flights, such as those involving critical infrastructure, commercial trade secrets, governmental functions or other similar options,” the Shenzhen-headquartered company added in a blog.
Disabled features
DJI previously faced security fears in 2016 after a member of its staff told reporters that the firm had repeatedly shared customer data with the Chinese authorities.
The company issued a clarification shortly afterwards, saying a junior member of its team had “misspoke” and that it only handed over information if there was a valid legal request from Beijing or any other government.

DJI’s drones are the best-selling brand in North America
DJI says it is unable to collect flight logs or captured images anyway, unless users opt to share the information via its Go apps, which are used to track and control its aircraft.
But the latest move is designed to provide further reassurance.
If the privacy mode is enabled, however, users will lose access to several features including the ability to:
livestream videos to YouTube
automatically install map and geofencing boundary updates, which are designed to prevent owners flying within banned zones
receive notifications about newly issued flight restrictions from the authorities
As a consequence, DJI said it might not be able offer the new mode in countries where pilots are required by law to have the latest information.
New memo
The US armed forces decided in July that using DJI’s drones posed “operational risks”, leading the US Army to detail its ban on 2 August.
The memo said that its use of the aircraft should cease, all DJI apps should be uninstalled from its computers and that all batteries and storage media should be removed from the drones while they were kept in storage.
However, the SUAS news site – which was the first to reveal the development – has since reported on a follow-up memo dated 11 August.
It indicates the army will grant exceptions to the ban once a DJI plug-in to its own drone software has been properly vetted.

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Drone-hacking cybersecurity boot camp launched in UK

November 3, 2016

Budding cyberspies will learn how to hack into drones and crack codes at a new cybersecurity boot camp backed by the government.
Matt Hancock, the minister for digital and culture, said students would gain the skills needed to “fight cyber-attacks” and help keep the UK safe.
The 10-week course has been “certified” by UK spy agency GCHQ.
But some security experts raised questions about the need for the course and the intent behind it.
“If I were a company, I would not hire security consultants who had been approved by GCHQ,” said Prof Ross Anderson, who leads the security group at Cambridge University’s Computer Laboratory.
“I would simply not be able trust them. GCHQ’s goal is that no-one should be able to shield themselves from surveillance, ever,” he told the BBC.
‘Skills gap’
The Cyber Retraining Academy will be operated by cybersecurity training firm Sans Institute. It will be funded as part of the government’s £1.9bn National Cybersecurity Strategy.
Sans Institute said “leading cybersecurity employers” would be able to track students’ performance throughout the course, with a view to recruiting talented individuals.
Would-be recruits must pass a series of competency tests to be considered for the boot camp, including a multiple-choice quiz before they can even submit an application.
The successful 50 candidates will attend the academy in London in 2017, and will receive two years of training condensed into 10 weeks.
Rik Ferguson of cybersecurity firm Trend Micro said the scheme could help people learn the skills to “hit the ground running” in a security-related role, but questioned why the scheme was needed.
“Employers often complain about the ‘cybersecurity skills gap’ – a gap that I would argue doesn’t exist,” he told the BBC.
“The problem is rather that employers are not looking beyond very narrowly specified certifications or degree courses in security-related subjects.
“If advertising a cyber-retraining programme as ‘drone hacking’ is going to get individuals with the right character and curiosity applying for this course, then it can only be a good thing.
“But obviously it takes more than 10 weeks, however intense, to create a well-rounded security professional.”

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