Computers have been plagued with viruses and malware since I can remember, and that’s never going to change. For every cool app or cool piece of software, there will be someone that will want to exploit it, cheat, or hack the hell out of it. Now it was only going to be a matter of time before this would happen with drones, as essentially they are just flying computers.
Let me explain how these ‘hackers’ are exploiting drones using malware that could give them full control, including downing the drone. As autonomous flight becomes the norm, allowing the drones to think for themselves so to speak. Maldrone labels itself as the first backdoor to many drones. Maldrone is developed by security researcher Rahul Sasi who says the exploit tricks the drone into handing over full control to the ‘hacker’.
Although this is frightening and you wouldn’t want this to happen whilst your flying over water or even worse, over a crowd of people. The exploit is very limited and you can only use the exploit on drones within a close proximity. So if you keep to the US laws, it should be flying fairly close to you anyway (within eye-shot), and if you do see anyone looking suspicious you could always go over and give them a good kick in the butt!.
What this exploit does bring to our attention though is that our drones can be infected, exploited and misused even if the owner is responsible. Will we need a drone anti virus in the future? it opens more questions and debate.