It’s easy to forget that drones are essentially flying computers. And as autonomous flight features become the new standard, drones are quickly becoming computers that think for themselves— which is exactly why Maldrone is such scary software. Maldrone bills itself as the “first backdoor for drones.”
Developed by security researcher Rahul Sasi, this malware tricks a drone’s autonomous decision-making unit into handing over control to a hacker. Once the drone has been infected, that hacker can do anything from flying the drone to the destination of their choice to making the drone just drop out of the sky.
This is a big one and to be sure only the first. There is some interesting technical discussion in the Comments. Maldrone in particular appears to only infect WiFi controllers for the Parrot and perhaps DJI. However this will clearly lead to the same kinds of safeguards our military drones use – things like agile frequency hopping. Ah the peace dividend!