Drug traffickers are hacking US surveillance drones to get past border patrol
Homeland Security has turned to using small drones to monitor its borders, but drug traffickers have apparently already found a way to avoid surveillance.
Timothy Bennett, a Department of Homeland Security program manager, said last week that drug smugglers are using technology to spoof and jam unmanned aircraft systems that are being used at the border.
“The bad guys on the border have lots of money. And what they are putting money into is spoofing and jamming of GPSs, so we are doing funding to look at small UAS that we can counter this,” Bennett said during a panel at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.
Spoofing is when someone is able to counterfeit the GPS signal navigating the drone. Because non-military GPS signals are not encrypted, they are vulnerable to being spoofed.
In a border patrol scenario, this means that the GPS signal from the control station could be hijacked by the “spoofer” and crashed.