Scientists have developed a cybersecurity system that protects military drones from being hacked.
Military drones are often used to store sensitive data, ranging from troop movements to strategic operations which may make them vulnerable to enemy interference.
Researchers at the University of Virginia and the Georgia Institute of Technology developed the new system and tested it in a series of live, in-flight cyberattack scenarios.
When installed on a drone, the System-Aware Secure Sentinel system detects “illogical behaviours” compared to those expected of the vehicle, said project leader Barry Horowitz, a systems and information engineer at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
“Detections can serve to initiate automated recovery actions and to alert operators of the attack,” Horowitz said.
In the demonstration, the researchers simulated various threats, including cyberattacks launched from enemies on the ground, attacks from military insiders and interference with supply chains, ‘LiveScience’ reported.
The “attacks” took place over the course of five days, and focused on interference in four different areas: GPS data, location data, information about imagery, and onboard surveillance/control of payloads.
In each scenario, the cybersecurity system was able to rapidly detect cyberattacks, notify the team and correct the system’s performance, the researchers said.
The technology has been licensed to the software company Mission Secure Inc, which is working to commercialise it for the military, intelligence and civil sectors.