What Steps DJI Is Going to Undertake to Combat against a Growing Army of Drone Hackers
DJI, the leading drone manufacturer, has its own geofencing system, which doesn’t allow the drone to fly in a restricted area. Nevertheless, not all drone users want to obey these rules. There is a decent amount of users who buy DJI drones and want to have a complete control over their drones.
Browsing the web, you will find instructions, published by hackers that allow you to alter the firmware on your DJI drone. Nevertheless, the company isn’t going to give up on this game. Recently, the leading drone manufacturer updated its software and started making the first steps to combat this issue. The company is going to remove the vulnerable versions of this firmware from its servers. In doing so, DJI wants to regain control of its products.
According to the official statement of the company: “Unauthorized modification of DJI products is not allowed because of one fact – it may be the reason of unstable flight behavior. Furthermore, such actions can lead to drone crashes or unsafe drone flights. Besides, the company repeated that they are not responsible for the operation of modified drones. This is illegal. The company is going to retain a full control over its drones.
The offer from DIY hackers
Several weeks ago, the information about the possibility to alter the firmware of DJI drones appeared online. It was offered by a Russian company “Copterface”. The prime objective of this firmware is to allow users to evade speed limits, altitude and no-fly zones. First, the company wanted to sell the hacks for around $200. Nevertheless, they changed their mind and decided to do this for free. They just wished to expand the software around the web.
The leader of this company confessed that their firmware allowing to hack DJI drones is just another step to teach the company. Besides, they are not going to stop and lose this digital war. Copterface doesn’t recommend DJI users to update their software. They need to do anything to avoid using the newest versions of DJI software.
Steps to prevent hacking
All no-fly zones are just voluntary guidelines. It is possible to circumvent them, asking the approval of the company, but some pilots consider these restrictions to be an infringement of their rights. On that score, the company took a decision to remove these firmware versions from their servers. Besides, the company continues combating against hackers and working on investigating the additional reports of various modifications of their products.
Nevertheless, the majority of drone community didn’t appreciate the DJI steps of prevention. The major part of them wants to have full control over their devices. They just want to fly where they want and frankly speaking, not all of them want to follow the rules and regulations.
DJI updated its software with the aim to coerce customers into using harder-to-hack software, which cannot be affected by hackers. In response, the existing DJI users are going to archive older firmware onto their computers.
Is it legal to hack drones?
This issue is a very complicated one. For instance, in the USA it is not allowed to jailbreak drones. It is possible to jailbreak cars or mobile devices but we can’t say the same about drones. If a pilot wants to fly a hacked drone (or use it illegally), this person will run afoul of Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
Besides, even the team of Copterface doesn’t support the flights near airports. It is dangerous and each drone pilot must stay away from the airports. Recently, the news about the drone which caused the flight disruptions at London’s Gatwick airport appeared online.
So, DJI is not going to give up. The company released the new firmware. Besides, the company uses its geofencing system which prevents ISIS from flying DJI drones in Syria and Iraq. The company believes that the major part of its users wants to fly legally and safely.
If you buy a DJI drone, you should strictly follow the drone rules and regulations. These days, the amount of drone users is growing at the velocity of sound and to avoid different issues, it is mandatory to follow the drone rules and avoid using the software allowing you to modify a drone.