In world continuously concerned about safety and security, drone’s technology is no exception. Bear in mind that the more important is a device or a technology, and the more it is a prone to manipulation.  In this article we will answer the following questions:

  • Why drones are important for hackers?
  • Can a drone be hacked?
  • How can a drone be hacked?
  • How to secure a drone against hacking?

The use of drones is getting diversified day by day. They are out there in various forms and categories. Drones gain their importance on the type of use they are designed for. You can read more about the “different types of drones” in here.

Whether you are a newbie who needs A Beginner’s Guide to Drones, or you are interested in learning more about “Hоw Dо Drоnеѕ Wоrk? & Whаt Iѕ Drоnе Technology?”, or you are a hobbyist who enjoys flying drones with camera, and love to take footage” from the sky, or you are an educator, who is interested in STEAM educational approach, and are on the look for the Best Drones For Education, or you are a professional drone pilot, and need to know “how to make money flying drones?”,  or maybe a student who wants to become a commercial drone pilot or maybe an airplane pilot, there are all kinds of drones out there for you.

But, definitely, the one thing that everyone, regardless of their interest and their goal should do, is, be well informed about drone’s safety and security regardless of their types, and regardless of how they plan to fly their drone.

Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are of appreciable significance now to the consumers and to the hackers alike. Drones are used by the public for fun, for education, and for commercial use, such in real estate marketing, in the film industry, in search and rescue missions, in agriculture, and in other countless venues.

 Some companies have already begun to use this invention to deliver pizza and medical samples. Amazon is eying on its use for delivering the parcels to the doorsteps of its clients soon. On top of that, it is expected that the global drone market is going to attain the milestone of $43B in 2024. Drone developers are booming.

And of course, obviously, drones are used by the military for monitoring and warfare purposes, which makes them a primary target, by hackers.


Now, it’s the marketability and prevalence of drones that are enticing hackers to hack drones and manipulate them. It is very unfortunate that the answer to the question that whether drones can be hacked, is yes. Hacking into a drone is not different from hacking into a computer. It is a well-known fact that every time a device transmits data, that data can be intercepted.

What hackers are after is a connection to the drone by intercepting its signal, and if it is established a drone can be hacked from a mile away and can be manipulated to work as chosen.

 You may have heard about a U.S. drone that was intercepted by the Iranian military and was forced to land in the Iranian territory. The Iranian military jammed the frequency which the drone used to navigate by GPS. The drone was misguided and was told that his landing area is Iran. The drone went into touchdown mode and landed miles away from where it should have been. If military-level drones can be hacked then the one you buy from a store can be an easy prey for hackers.

Drones can not only be hacked but also used to hack other devices and abstract data from them. It means that cyber security skills are badly needed in this rapidly expanding market.


Hacking into a drone is as simple as that of a computer and can be hacked from a mile away. Only a connection to the drone is needed and that can be acquired by intercepting the signal. The radio signals are usually not encrypted and can be decoded with a packet analyzer. A packet sniffer or packet analyzer is a piece of hardware used to monitor network traffic. It can be used to read data packets flowing between the drone and the controller device. Once the signal and data are decoded, the drone can be connected to the hacker’s device and thus manipulated.

Once the signal of the drone is intercepted, there are many ways it can be taken over, hijacked, and used in a way it is not planned for. For example, a hacker can send thousands of connection requests to the drone, making its processor overburdened and forcing it to land.

Another hack can be performed by sending the drone a huge amount of data to surpass the data capacity of the drone. This will make the drone crash automatically. It is also possible to send fake data to the controller camouflaged as from the drone. In this case, the driver of the drone will receive such fake data from the hacker which will make him believe it is from his device and force him to make an emergency landing. It means the drones can be hacked and forced to land remotely and even at the yard of the hacker.

GPS spoofing, too, can be carried out against a drone. GPS spoofing is the interference with the legitimate GPS signals which can be done with a radio transmitter placed near the target. Through it, wrong coordinates can be given to a drone where the drone will anticipate, it is following the right path.

There are other vulnerabilities found in the drone system. Though these vulnerabilities cannot be used for a successful hack they are still harmful to drones. In theory, anyone can upload or download files from drones in the midflight and anyone can connect to it without a password.


As smart problems have smart solutions, there are copious tacks to enhance the security of a drone. Following steps can greatly add to the security of your drone.

  1. The manufacturer of your device has a big role in the security of your drone. All things related to manufacturing count for the security of the drone; from the design of the device and the development of the firmware to the sealing of the device with secure user permission. Quality drones may have high prices but, for sure, they will have enhanced security mechanisms and design.
  2. Performing frequent firmware updates will equip your drone with the latest patches and keep you in control of your own device’s code. As new security threats emerge regularly the manufacturer should provide security patches to the customers regularly.
  3. A secure controller will guarantee the secure use of your drone. Keep your controller safe from any malware. A remote, a laptop, or a Smartphone is usually used as a controller for a drone. Use them only for drone purposes. Do not download any apps or programs that may not be trustworthy. You can also install antivirus programs for your device. Use only premium antivirus because the low-quality antivirus program can only detect viruses but cannot prevent them from the action.
  4. Hackers can be stopped to intercept the signal of the drone by using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN encrypts your connection and thus making it difficult for hackers to gain access to your device by intercepting the signal. Private LTE networks are a method that is increasingly adopted by drone users in closed areas.
  5. Make sure that your drone has the RTH mode enabled. RTH or return to home mode is a security feature of a drone that enables the drone to return to a specified location automatically when it gets a low battery, lose signal, or any other problem.
  6. The above-mentioned measures can improve the security of your gadget to a satisfying level. Additionally, make sure that you use your drone in less populated areas and do not follow the same route for a long time.


Bear in mind, that drones are of great significance now to the consumers and to the hackers alike. They draw their importance on the type of use they are designed for.

Knowledge is the key! The best way to stay safe is, to learn how to protect your drone against hackers by following the safety protocols listed above. A further step would be to learn about how technology works. Find out more and read “Hоw Drоnеѕ Wоrk? & Whаt Iѕ Drоnе Technology?”

Fly safe! Fly high!


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