Drone Maker Steps Up Security after U.S. Army Ban

Drone Maker Steps Up Security after U.S. Army Ban

The U.S. Army banned the drones after they detected “cyber vulnerabilities.”

Chinese drone maker DJI is tightening data security after the U.S. Army ordered its members to stop using the company’s unmanned aerial drones. The Army said they detected “cyber vulnerabilities” and did not want to risk getting hacked mid-flight.

DJI is now speeding deployment of a system that will allow users to disconnect from the internet while in the air, making it impossible for flight logs, photos or videos to reach DJI’s computer servers.

The security measure, according to Brendan Schulman, vice president of policy and legal affairs at DJI, has been in the works for several months, but DJI is bringing it out sooner as a result of the Army memo that banned service members from using the drones.

Some drone pilots choose to share their videos and images with DJI, which makes them visible on its SkyPixel website, but many business and government customers have raised concerns about sensitive video and pictures, such as movie footage or images of critical infrastructure. They want to ensure that this data is never sent to DJI.

DJI said it does not collect flight logs, images or video unless specifically allowed by the pilot. By turning on the new “local data mode” pilots can ensure there is no way to “accidentally” pair with the DJI servers.

Other branches of the military have not banned drones, and recently the Secret Service has even begun testing them to bolster their security efforts in protecting the president.

The new cybersecurity measure on the DJI drones should make the unmanned aircrafts nearly impossible to hack, but only time will tell.

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